It is Holy Week.
All year long the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have great meaning and impact on our lives, but it is this week that we take additional time to reflect on the supernatural events that occurred over 2000 years ago in Jerusalem. The biblical narrative of what took place in those final days of Jesus is loaded with deep theological moments and meaning. Within each event that took place in the final hours of Jesus are great nuances that are not always captured at first glance. One of those moments jumped out at me this morning as I was going through our CVC Bible reading plan in Mark 15:
And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. (Mark 15:16-20 ESV)
In this moment of mockery, there are approximately 600 Roman soldiers that have gathered to pour out as much scorn as a battalion of men can muster. For any person, especially a man, who has been the target of ridicule or embarrassment in a locker room or team environment, imagine exponentially increasing those moments beyond your imagination. What is deeply ironic is the knowledge that this homage in mockery will one day become worship of majesty.
The battalion that gazed upon Jesus after draping a purple robe over his shoulders with contempt and disrespect, and the same soldiers that sarcastically twisted together a crown of thorns and violently drove it down onto the head of Christ – will one day, with all mankind, gaze upon Jesus in all His splendor and glory. They will see Jesus clothed in a brilliant and royal robe of victory and crowned with kingly and divine diadem:
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)
And in that moment, you, me and all mankind, including the roman battalion that mocked Jesus, will be pulled to the ground in utter humility and awe with such a gravitational force that will only result in complete and total confession that Jesus Christ is truly and exclusively King.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 ESV)
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13 ESV)
We can gladly and freely offer up genuine worship of the Savior King now, longing and anticipating His full and unveiled return, or we can make the mistake of resisting and mocking the King of kings and Lord of lords, only to find ourselves on our faces in worship anyhow. Let’s approach today and the days to come in reflection, in celebration and in worship of Jesus, our Messiah, our Savior, and our King.