Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!”
He came to this earth enwrapped in complete humility. He served the sick, the poor, and the despaired with unprecedented compassion. He breathed life into dead lungs, removed sores from the lepers, allowed the lame to walk, and the blind to see. Above all else, He came as our King, to redeem His people from the yoke of slavery. The more I study the life of this man, the harder it becomes to comprehend why the crowds that He once poured out His compassion on would ask no longer for His touch, but only His blood. They mocked His divinity by placing a crown of thorns upon His head and a purple robe over His bloodstained shoulders. They called Him “King of the Jews,” yet offered His body up to the cross like a common thief.
I often try to envision where I would have been standing if I were present in the crowd that day. Would have I praised Him as King, or shouted, “Crucify Him!” I would like to think that my heart is pure and my faithfulness unwavering. At the same time, one cannot forget that only a week earlier Christ had not been mocked as King, but rather, praised as the same (John 12:12, 13). Do I suppose that my emotions would not have been as easily swayed as the people that were there? I should hope not, but I do have a clearer picture from where I stand now, don’t I?
I think again, though, that Jesus was not the first king in history to have His followers turn on Him. It’s easy to accept Jesus as my king while He is healing the sick, giving sight to the blind… comforting my hurts and pains. It’s another story when He becomes different than what I want Him to be. It’s harder to acknowledge Christ as my king when He commands me to give up ungodly but enjoyable habits. It’s difficult to remain a faithful follower when He leads me through difficult or uncomfortable seasons of life. And it’s almost all but impossible to proclaim Him as King in the midst of a crowd that shouts nothing other than “Crucify Him!”
I am coming to understand that my acceptance or denial of who Jesus really was has no bearing on His true identity. That fact is, one day we will all bow down and worship Jesus as our King (Philippians 2:10). Believers and nonbelievers alike will one day acknowledge with their lips and confess with their mouths that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God.