Today’s reading: John 19:1-22
Today we read John’s account of the crucifixion. John focuses more on the time immediately leading up to the crucifixion. One of the things that stands out is the last thing that happens before Jesus is led away.
They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
The Jews declaring Caesar their king is a significant moment. Recall that originally the Jews were not ruled by kings. Rather, they were loosely governed by priest, prophets, and judges. However, their trust in God diminished over time and they began to ask God for a king. God relents and anointed Saul, then David, then Solomon, etc. The kings did what kings do. They can act quickly and decisively and as a result, the victories are often greater. However, they are merely men, who sin and fall, and when they do their sins have wide-reaching effects.
So in the past, the Jews rejected the heavenly Father as their king in favor of human men but at least these men were Jews, members of the covenant. Now, the Jews are meeting the Son of God in the flesh. This is their last chance to accept the new king, to return to the way things were when God led his people out of Egypt. They reject that and choose instead a secular pagan king. They opt out of the old covenant. As such, the old covenant will end and Jesus will institute the new covenant.
Tomorrow: John 19:23-42