Author: Jay Thompson, English Pastor, San Jose Canaan Christian Church, San Jose
16 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17 They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18 And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. (Mark 15:16-19, NIV)
Jesus was mocked. He was in the place of judgment. He stood before an entire battalion of soldiers, ready for command. He was adorned with the colors of royalty and the symbol of a crown. He was saluted as if commander-in-chief. He was bowed before as if given highest honor. Jesus was in his rightful place, but none recognized him.
It was not for lack of passion that Jesus was humiliated in this way. Jewish nationalism was behind his arrest. Roman nationalism was behind his mockery. The soldiers had seen all the pomp of Roman pageantry and Jesus was no fit. Zeal for the doing the right thing was everywhere. Zeal for the emperor of Rome set Jesus up in this way.
What is your passion? On what is the focus of your zeal? Is it based on knowledge? Is it based on understanding? There is only one thing worthy of our passion and zeal: Jesus Christ. The one mocked in all passion and zeal is the only one thing worthy of real worship.
It’s time to check our passion focus. We may be passionate about some good things: The nation of Israel, The Empire of Rome, The United States of America, and The American Dream but what if our passion for a good thing led us to passionately miss out on the one true worthy thing? What if our passion has blinded us to the fact that we in all of our zeal are mocking our very Lord and King?
Passion check: Recognize who the true king is. Put the colors and crown on the one true king. Worship the King.
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior