And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
We’ll pick up where we left off with Charles Spurgeon yesterday: “Few, nowadays, will side with the truth their fathers bled for. The day for covenanting to follow Jesus through evil report and shame appears to have gone by. Yet, though men turn round upon us and say, ‘Do you call your gospel divine? Are you so preposterous as to believe that your religion comes from God and is to subdue the world’—we boldly answer: “Yes!”
Spurgeon continues, “Even as beneath the peasant’s garb and the Wan visage of the Son of Mary we can discern the Wonderful, the Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father! so beneath the simple form of a despised gospel we perceive the royal lineaments of truth divine. We care nothing about the outward apparel or the external housing of truth; we love it for its own sake. To us, the marble halls and the alabaster columns are nothing, we see more in the manger and the cross. We are satisfied that Christ is the King still where he was wont to be King, and that is not among the great ones of the earth, not among the mighty and the learned, but amongst the base things of the world and the things which are not, which shall bring to nought the things that are, for these hath God from the beginning chosen to be his own.”1
No one can be neutral concerning Jesus Christ, for Jesus claims to be the only ultimate King whether we acknowledge or refuse to acknowledge him. Which brings us back to Pilate. Pilate was not a follower of Jesus. He only wanted to be neutral, to be innocent of his death. But he failed miserably. He was not able to be neutral, and in the end he took his stand against Jesus. So will you unless you decide for Jesus now.
When Pilate awoke that morning he did not expect to be confronted by the greatest crisis of his career. All he expected to do was go through a pro forma trial for which he cared nothing. He would humor the Jewish leaders. Yet suddenly Jesus was standing before him, and Jesus was either the king he claimed to be, or he was not. He was either innocent or guilty. What would Pilate do? How would he act? We know what he did. He failed in his great crisis and condemned to death the very Son of God despite his knowledge of the case, his better judgment, and even the warnings of his wife.
Don’t let that happen to you, Jesus is before you every bit as much as he was before Pilate in a physical form that day. “Are you the king” you ask, “Yes,” Jesus answers. Is he right? You have to face that claim. If he is the king, say, “Yes, Jesus, I acknowledge you who are, and I want to become your subject today.” Bow before him. If you do not, you will bow before him in terror at the judgment.
1 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, p. 699.