John 19:1-16a Jesus is condemned, they have no king but Caesar.
If you’ve ever been in the room for someone to talk about you, either knowingly, or unknowingly, this passage might sound familiar. The soldiers mock Jesus and name him the king of the Jews. The Jews confront Pilate
and tell him that Jesus called himself the son of God. Pilate gets worries, and tells Jesus that he has power over Jesus’ live and death. Pilate gives the Jews their king. And now, the people who once asked God to give them a king say that they have no king but the emperor.
In all of this, Jesus doesn’t say much. He really doesn’t have to – the people around him are saying more than enough. They’re screaming it, in ways that we often don’t, and yet we say the same words. We’re afraid, like Pilate, that Jesus really is the son of God. We’re afraid, like Pilate, that if Jesus is who Jesus is, it will get us in trouble with power. And we’re not as honest as the group that yells they have no king but the emperor.
We have let empire replace the witness of God incarnate.
So when we talk about Jesus, do we presume we have the authority, like Pilate does? Do we want someone else to lead us, like the crowd? How is it we talk about Jesus?