The King Who Saves

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him!"

Matthew 27:42

The irony in this passage, including this verse, is rich. Yes, Jesus had saved others. No, in fact, he could have saved himself, if he had chosen to do so. But Jesus chose not to save himself so that he might save others, not merely from disease, but also from death. His very act of not saving himself was an act of saving others.

From the point of view of the Jewish leaders, Jesus’ crucifixion proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was not the Messiah, the divinely anointed King of Israel. Yet, in fact, Jesus was fulfilling his messianic calling by dying on a Roman cross. In this way he vanquished, not the power of Rome, but the power of sin and death. For the true King of the Jews, his royal road led to the cross, and beyond the cross to the resurrection.

Jesus died on the cross, not merely to save individuals, though his death did open up the way for you and me to experience forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Jesus died so that God’s kingdom might be opened to all humanity. That which keeps us from living under God’s rule, namely, our sin, was overpowered through the sacrifice of Jesus. Because of his death, we can begin today to live with Jesus as our king.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you live as if you had a king? How does the kingdom of God impact your life at work? At home? In your community?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, you are the true King of Israel, the one anointed by God to inaugurate the kingdom. Yet you brought the kingdom in a most unexpected way. You didn’t defeat the Romans and kick them out of Jerusalem. Rather, you died on a Roman cross, an apparent victim of Roman oppression. But your death defeated death itself. By dying, you opened up the way for us to live in the kingdom, both now and in the age to come.

How I praise you, King of kings and Lord of lords, for your sacrifice. You endured pain, dishonor, and Hell itself so that I might experience the richness of life, ultimately sharing your own glory. Hallelujah! All praise be to you, King Jesus! Amen.

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