Bible Reference: John 19:17-20
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)
Bible Text: 17 Jesus carried his own cross out of the city to the place called “The Skull,” which in Aramaic is Golgotha. 18 And there they nailed him to the cross. He was crucified, along with two others, one on each side with Jesus in the middle. 19–20 Pilate had them post a sign over the cross, which was written in three languages—Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. Many of the people of Jerusalem read the sign, for he was crucified near the city. The sign stated: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”[k]
OBSERVATION: Pilate was almost persuaded, in that he seemed to have believed that Jesus was, who He said He was. Why he even used part of the title given to Jesus in the sign he had posted over him on the cross. In our time of meditation today, I believe that the Holy Spirit prompted me to have us consider what we may have placed on our sign to identify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. to the crowds that passed by. I wonder…..
APPLICATION: Don’t you find it interesting that we might call someone by their name when addressing them face-to-face, but we may have other names for them when referring to them in discussion with our friends? Of course, that could change when we speak with close friends or relatives of the individual; and it may change even more when we become upset with the individual. But what about Jesus, what might you place on a sign to identify Him? What does He mean to you? I would dare say that at church you might have a very religious name for Him; Among Christian friends you might have a similarly religious name; In close communion with God and when you feel like He is answering your prayers, you may still have a very positive reference for God. But let us consider how that changes when things are not going our way, and in fact, when we feel like the world is against us, or when our prayers seem to not leave the dark room in which we find ourselves. Are you still willing to use strictly complimentary names for God, and/or His Son? There is a saying in Christian circles that may contain more truth than we care to accept at times: Jesus is either God of all, or perhaps He’s not our Lord at all. Oh my. When we consider that He went to the cross for our sin, and our eternal destiny in heaven, how shameful for us to place conditions on our relationship with Him. Conditions, you might ask? That’s correct, my friend. For if Jesus is not Lord of all in the good times when everything is going our own way, AND in those challenging times when we can’t understand why we lost a young sibling, or our job, or our car in an unfortunate accident, then obviously we are not truly entrusting all of life’s circumstances into His awesome hands. The whole reason we ask God about our circumstances, or for direction, is that we want His will to be done, and not our wishful, selfish thinking and/or desires. I therefore feel like it is very obvious that we should not only accept His agreement with our requests, but also His decisions to offer us a better way at times. With Jesus in our corner during the rough times of life, we are much more blessed than doing things our own way during the highlights of our blessed life. Perhaps we should write our sign, and each day re-visit that sign to either remind us of who God was yesterday, but also who He still is today – in spite of the change in circumstances. Our God is awesome my friend! He has shown us that, He has proven that in so many ways, and He has promised that He will be with us right up until He returns to take us home to glory! I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able, to take that which I’ve committed unto Him until that day!
PRAYER: Lord, You are so wonderful to me in so many ways, and I thank You for loving me and caring for me in the good times, and in those times when I feel like all hope is lost. Please keep me near the cross, for there’s a precious fountain. A place where You gave it all so that I may have eternal happiness – both here on this earth and in the glories of heaven. Please speak to my friends and I when we struggle with the challenges of life, and help us to know that the same loving Savior who gave it all for us, is still with us even when we feel abandoned. You are my King, my Savior and my ever-loving Master. I commit myself anew to You and ask that though I may doubt at times, that You will always love and care for me in every circumstance of life. AMEN!