SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
The Irony of Jesus' Kingship
by Dave Mann
There is a clear irony in that in the same week we read John 18 and Psalm 145. In the Gospel of John, we see Jesus interrogated by Pilate, who is confused by Jesus’ claim to be a king. Pilate presumes that he is the one with power, but Jesus is confident that, though in a short time he will be crucified, he is King and all things have been put under his power. (See John 13:3.) In Psalm 145, we join the psalmist in giving glory to God the eternal king (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). In this passage, we give glory and praise to God who is worthy. He has mighty acts, majesty, awesome works, great deeds, abundant goodness, and glorious splendor.
Now read Psalm 145:1-13 again, a psalm of proclaiming the glory of the King, but this time, picture in your mind Jesus standing before Pilate – betrayed, abandoned, bound, beaten, mocked, spit upon, humiliated. What sort of king is this Jesus? He is worthy of praise, not just because of his power and authority, but because of his willingness to suffer and die for his subjects.
Other passages come to mind, which place side by side, the glory of a triumphant King and the glory of a Suffering Servant.
Philippians 2:6-11 – Christ Jesus, who emptied himself of divine privilege, was humbled, becoming obedient even to death. This same One was given the name that is above every name, which everyone will ultimately acknowledge as Lord and before whom every knee will bow.
Revelation 5:2-10 – The Lion of Judah is worthy of praise precisely because he became the Lamb who was slain and purchased for God people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. I can think of no two animals which portray such opposite images of power and weakness – a lion and a slain lamb. But that is the scope of the biblical images inspired by the Holy Spirit throughout Holy Scripture used to describe our Lord Jesus.
Lord Jesus, you are King and you are Slain Lamb. With your authority, you freely chose to give yourself as the ultimate sacrifice to conquer sin and death and to pay for my sin. Indeed, you are worthy of all praise and honor and glory. Eternity will not be long enough to express gratitude commensurate for your Greatest Act. Amen.