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By Rev. Wayne Palmer
Lenten Devotion
The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up and offering
Him sour wine and saying, "If You are the King of the
Jews, save Yourself!" There was also an inscription over
Him, "This is the King of the Jews" (Luke 23:36-38).
Holy Wednesday
Read Luke 23:36-38.
The Roman Empire used crucifixion as a powerful warning
and deterrent to crime. So an inscription was written to
identify the criminal and the crime for which he or she was
dying. Jesus' inscription read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King
of the Jews" (see Matthew 27:37).
This was the mocking theme the Roman soldiers had picked
up during Jesus' trial before Pilate. When they scourged Him,
they wove a crown out of thorns and put it on His head. They
put a purple robe over His torn shoulders, and a reed as His
royal scepter. They knelt before Him, then snatched the reed
from His hand and beat Him over the head with it
(see Matthew 27:27-31).
Now, at the cross, they pick up the theme again. Knowing He
is suffering from agonizing thirst, they come up and offer Him
sour wine-knowing full well He cannot reach it with His hands
and feet nailed to the cross. Then they take up the chant of
the Jewish rulers and add their own little twist: "If You are the
King of the Jews, save Yourself!"
But they don't understand true kingship. They assume a king
rules for his own welfare and benefit. But a true King rules for
the benefit of His subjects-even if that means sacrificing His
life to save theirs. It's what a true King does for His people.
Lord Jesus, my King and my Lord. Thank You for sacrificing
Yourself for the benefit of all of us, Your subjects. In Your
goodness and love, rule over all my life. Amen.

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