The King of the Jews!
Scripture reading for March 2nd: Mark 15
After an early-morning mock trial by the Jewish Sanhedrin, the Jewish leaders handed Jesus over to Pilate for the Roman trial. Pilate asked Jesus, “Are You the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.” (Mark 15:2) The Jewish leaders made many other charges, but Jesus remained silent. Pilate was amazed that He did not speak out in defense, but admitted that He was king of the Jews!
It was Pilate’s custom to release a prisoner condemned to death to the crowd that had gathered. He wanted to release Jesus and thought that the crowd would oblige him. However, the chief priests stirred the crowd to ask for Barabbas, a man imprisoned with murderers. After flogging, Jesus was handed over to be crucified.
The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus also mocked Him by putting a purple robe on Him and a crown of thorns. “And they began to call out to Him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” (Mark 15:18) In doing this, they placed on Jesus the symbol of the curse of sin and death brought on by Adam’s disobedience. Jesus would bear the penalty of this curse as He hung on the cross for the sins of Adam’s offspring. In His sinless body, He was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. (2nd Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus was placed on the cross about nine in the morning. A written charge was nailed to the cross: “The King of the Jews.” (Mark 15:25) At noon, darkness came over the land for three hours. He cried out in a loud voice, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34) “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Mark 15:37-38)