Day 35

“Hail, King of the Jews!”

from the Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross reading plan

Psalm 22:1-26, Isaiah 53:1-3, Luke 22:63-65, John 19:1-5

BY Rebecca Faires

Text: Psalm 22:1-26, Isaiah 53:1-3, Luke 22:63-65, John 19:1-5

Any day now, I’m going to have a baby.

Birth is one of those elemental moments in life: I’ll get to really yell and really cry. I love birth because I just can’t control it; I’ll go into labor when the time is right. One day soon I’ll be folding laundry, or lounging in a co-worker’s nice leather chair, and SOMETHING will HAPPEN—I’ll go into labor. Don’t you just love it with something happens?

So many days follow suit, one after another—but when something really happens we all stop and stare, or yell, or get out our phones to make videos. We really pay attention in these elemental moments of pain. Folks are always asking me to prophesy WHEN the baby will be born, and I keep dodging with, “I’m not going to miss it.” That’s just it. Some things in life are so big, and so intense, it’s not possible to miss them. When the baby comes, I won’t just sleep through it.

Intense moments grab our face on both sides and force us to pay attention. In my moment of need, I will be center stage. My husband will rub my back, my facebook friends will pray for me, my church is already preparing casseroles for me, my doula will speak encouraging words, and my midwife will attend me like a queen. It’s true. These people who love me will drop everything and turn their faces to me.

But for Christ, in His moment of greatest intensity, when SOMETHING is really HAPPENING, we see that people are turning their faces away from Him.

We are painfully aware of the human side of Christ in these passages. He is in agony (Psalm 22), He is alone and isolated (Isaiah 53), He is mocked (Luke 22), and He is rejected (John 19).

In Jesus’ darkest moment, His best friends—those disciples who are like brothers to Him— deny and abandon Him. They look around for places to hide.

The law turns its back on Him. Pilate finds no reason to punish Him, but allows Him to be taken away in spite of justice.

And finally, most painful of all, His Father turns away from Him.

When Jesus feels the sharp crown of thorns pressed into His head, He is alone. At a time when we all should be there, lovingly attending Him, we turn our faces away. Although Jesus was 100% God, He was also 100% man, and this isolation was real for Him. Everyone He loved left Him to suffer the hardest moment of His earthly life alone.

Let this moment grab you by the face. Yell if you have to. Turn your face towards our Lord and see the cost of our sin piled on His sacred head.

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

“O Sacred Head Now Wounded”
attributed to Ber­nard of Clair­vaux, 1153




Post Comments (103)

103 thoughts on "“Hail, King of the Jews!”"

  1. Kasey Tuggle says:

    All that Jesus went through for us…. Wow he loves us so. So much love does our Savior have for us.

  2. Mrs. Daniels says:

    It’s hard to look at the suffering of the cross and the previous torture leading up to it, difficult to fathom the complete abandonment of Jesus by God. It’s desperate and uncomfortable. And then to realize my sin and depravity led Him to make the choice to die on my behalf. -I can’t even wrap my mind around it without being completely flabbergasted. So I will look at the cross, weep in repentance, accept this mercy and grace and give thanks. Praise be to God!

  3. Pamela says:

    Thank you for all of your prayers! I just had to leave it up to God and our prayers were answered! My daughter Natalie Luciana was born on 3/25 at 11:34am 6 pounds 6 ounces via Csection because baby was breech and wouldn’t move, come to find out she had 4 nuchal cords wrapped around her neck! Thank the Lord everything went ok with her delivery!!!! We are headed home from the hospital today!!! Thank you all again your prayers have been so amazing during these anxious times!!

  4. Pamela says:

    This passage hits me very closely. I’m 38 weeks pregnant and the baby is breech. I’m going into the hospital at 6:30am tomorrow for an attempt to flip the baby. If it doesn’t work I’ll have to have a C-section. The umbilical cord is overlying my cervix and there’s risk of prolapse if my water breaks! Please keep us on your prayers! Thank you!

    1. Laura_H says:

      Sending prayers for you and your family, Pamela!

      1. Pamela says:

        Thank you! It feels like these anxious moments pale in comparison to everything Jesus went though during his crucifixion. I need to leave my trust in God!

    2. Grace says:

      praying for you tonight!!!! that He would bring peace and wisdom to the doctors helping you!

    3. Shann says:

      I am praying for you Pamela, praying for peace and comfort fort you. Wisdom for your doctors and over your precious baby.

    4. allie says:

      Praying for you! Keep us posted

  5. Alanna says:

    Thank for this devotional today of all days. I have been trying for a while to find a way to start a devotional life, with something that is relevant along with the Bible. My coworker/mentor recommended this site to me last Thursday, but it took me until today to open up my Bible again. Today's theme of Jesus being abandoned and the Luke passage were what we went over in the Bible study for internationals that I help teach today. We mainly focused on his physical pain, but as a believer I think what you expressed here hits me even harder. There are times when I forget that Jesus was human, but when you get to passages like these along with his prayers in the garden, it is so humbling.

    So I think what I was trying to say was "thank you". Thank you for writing this devotional about the emotional pain that our Savior went through to save us. Thank you most of all to the God who loves us enough to put His own son in the kind of pain that would restore His tainted and broken creation to Himself.

  6. Maddie says:

    am I missing something here? reading these passages makes me feel guilty and shameful to be a part of the human race that once crucified our savior who came to save us and bring peace. yes, I am incredibly thankful, but this just frustrates me so much. How is this passage supposed to make me feel peaceful?

    1. lydiarose06 says:

      I'm not sure we are supposed to feel "peaceful' about it– but like you said, humbled, grateful, thankful. Praising Him that He would give His life and allow us to treat Him so, all for love. What grace and mercy He shows us.

    2. tina says:

      Maddie, to feel something is good…it means you care, and enough to know we are sinners….but here's the thing….This was Jesus' gift to us…Jesus' arrest, trial, (if you can call it that), His being crucified had been prophesied since the time of Isaiah, if not before…even down to them distributing His robes..This here sacrifice, had been planned since time, immemorial…Jesus's sacrifice and subsequent resurrection had to happen for us to live,…to know freedom, for us to be redeemed, forgiven, to have hope…for us to have a glimpse and know eternity in Him…So yes, we for sure, can be peace- filled, and mindful, and thoughtful on what the Lord Jesus has done for us… but the deal is that WE in no uncertain terms know that Jesus did this for us because He loves us so very much..He really does…Amen…x

  7. Heather says:

    May we never forget what Jesus went through for us so that we may choose to have that everlasting relationship. It is so easy to forget because many don’t fully grasp the intensity and heartbreak that He went through. I pray that I never forget. If I do, I pray that He will constantly remind me of the true cost of His grace.

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