John 19:19 – 22 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate. “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
Hmmmm . . . was Pilate being just a tad bit sarcastic? By posting that Jesus was the king of the Jews, he was clearly trying to make a point. This king, whipped, beaten, crucified – had lost his throne. He had no power, no authority any more. Perhaps Pilate was mad at the Jewish leaders for forcing him to crucify an innocent man, and he wanted to get a little jab in. Who knows his reasons?
But do you see the irony? He posted that sign in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. Everyone in the area, who could read, was able to understand the meaning. Pilate meant to prove to all the world that the Jews had no king. But without realizing it, he was actually proclaiming God’s message.
While Pilate meant to state that Jesus’ “rule” had ended, we know the truth. His reign as King of Kings was only just beginning. By writing the sign in three languages, Pilate meant to prove that the Jews had no power in the world. But let’s just think about that a moment, shall we?
Hebrew (Aramaic) was the language of the religious people. Latin was the language of the law. Greek was the language spoken by the educated, cultured people of the world. By writing this sign in these three languages, Pilate proclaimed the truth! Jesus is the king of the Jews and the Gentiles. He is the ruler of religion and culture and education and law. He is Lord over all of creation, over all the world.
Isn’t it ironic? God used the very man who ordered His Son’s execution to proclaim Jesus’ place in the world. Jesus was, is, and always will be the King!
It makes me wonder. If God can use a man like Pilate to bring about His perfect will, He can probably use just about anybody. Instead of worrying and fretting over world leaders who I disagree with, I suppose I could just take my concerns to the Lord. After all, He is Lord of all, and His will will prevail, no matter what.
Dear Father, Thank You for Pilate’s sign. Though he meant it to be sarcastic, it was actually Your truth. Please guide the hands of our leaders – no matter their motives – to accomplish Your will.