Scripture Reading: Exodus 11:1-12:51 / Mathew 27:11-44 / Psalm 21:1-7
The Chief Priest and Pharisees accused Jesus of usurping Roman law and exalting Himself as a king. Pilate found no fault in Him yet handed Jesus over to the soldiers to be crucified. The soldiers were determined to make this crucifixion special, fit for a King. It began with a scourging where they stripped Jesus of His clothes and tied his hands to a post, exposing His back to the whip. Jesus was repeatedly struck with a whip of long leather strips with pieces of jagged bone and lead pellets tied to the end. Christ’s back oozed blood and looked like ribbons of raw flesh
The guards mocked Jesus by placing on Him a Kingly scarlet robe for “The King of the Jews”. They made a crown fit for “The King” by twisting a crown of thorns and placing it upon Jesus. These thorns were long, hard and sharp. They dug into Christ’s skin and pierced His brow causing excessive bleeding. Kings held ornate scepters to symbolize their power. Jesus was given a common and fragile reed. The soldiers completed their mockery by bowing before Jesus and worshipping Him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” (vs.29) then they promptly spat on him and hit Him with His “scepter” and their fists. Treatment fit for a King…
Crucifixion was called the most terrible and cruel death that man had ever devised. Jesus was forced to carry His cross through the streets of Jerusalem. A placard describing His crime "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews" (vs.37) was placed on His cross. Jesus was nailed to the cross and He would have to pull up with his arms and push up with his feet so His chest cavity could expand. The torture of crucifixion is unmatched and only reserved for the worst of criminals and this “King”. Gnats and flies attacked His bloody body and open wounds.
Golgotha was the place where Jesus was crucified and it was a major thoroughfare just outside Jerusalem. Crucifixions were conducted here so the crowds could verbally take part in railing those crucified. Jesus was treated with extreme hatred and vengeance. “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” (vs.39)
The chief priests, scribes and elders also mocked Him, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, “I am the Son of God.” (vs.42,43) Even the criminals that were crucified on either side of Jesus, “…heaped insults on him.” (vs.44) The Jewish nation did not believe Jesus and neither did the Romans. They thought they were mockingly preparing a humiliating death for “a King”. Jesus did not prove He was a King by coming down from the cross but by staying upon it as our sacrificial Lamb. He gave His life so we may live and He died a death…fit for a King!