“Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends, and you are my friends if you do whatsoever I have commanded you” (Jn 15:13,14).
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil 2:8).
“So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them” (Jn 19:16-18).
The cross is about the love of Christ for all those who choose to obey him. The cross is about the obedient love Christ had for his heavenly father. The Cross is about The King of Kings!
A King Who Loves
Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written” (Jn 19:19-22).
He loved all humanity in this sacrifice, and he still demonstrated love for His family that was nearby. “Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home” ( Jn 19:25-27).
He was the King of the World, and yet he is the king who loves you. He loved you enough to die for you. Have you made Jesus your Savior by obeying the gospel?
A King Who Finishes
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (Jn 19:28-30).
“And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood, you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…” (Rev 5:9)
Jesus came into the world by the will of His heavenly Father (Jn 3:16). Jesus came into this world to die for the sins of the world (1 Tim 1:15). Jesus came prepared to die that you and I might have eternal life (Jn 10:10 f; Rom 6:23). Mission accomplished!
A King Who Saves
“A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth” (Jn 19:29).
John tells us it was on a hyssop reed that they put the sponge containing the sour wine. Hyssop grows about two feet long and is more like grass. Some believe it is a mistake for a very similar word that means a lance or a spear. But John wrote the word for hyssop.
Just before the children of Israel left slavery in Egypt there was one final plague – the Lord would pass through the land and the firstborn sons of Egypt would die. God instructed the Israelites:
“Take a bunch of hyssops and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever” (Ex 12:22-24).
It was the blood of the Passover Lamb which saved the House of Israel. This is John’s way of saying that Jesus was the great Passover Lamb of God whose death was to save the whole world from sin.
The scripture keeps calling us back to the blood of Christ:
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn 1:7).
“Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-4).
“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
We have a King who loved us enough go to the cross for us, finished his course by his death, burial, and resurrection, and saved us by the power of his own blood. If we are willing to obedient to him, even as he obeyed his Father, we shall be saved. Jesus commanded his apostles to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15-17).