Author: Jonathan Lau, Associate Pastor, San Francisco Chinese Alliance Church
19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” (John 19:19-22, NIV)
In life, there are times when things just seem to crash and pile up. Work gets heavy. The kids are sick. Loved ones pass away. Even ministry and church become stressful. It’s in those times that life may seem to be out of your control ... out of anybody’s control. Loneliness and helplessness set in. It even feels like God disappears. During this Lent season, we’ve been following the arrest, trial, and eventual crucifixion of Jesus. And if there was any time in our Lord’s life that things seemed out of control, this would be it. Christ appears to be utterly helpless as the envy-crazed Jewish leadership beat him, subject him to a sham of a Sanhedrin trial, and ship him off to Pilate the Roman governor for a politically-coerced death sentence. In the midst of all this, Pilate decides to mock the Jewish leaders by inscribing a note fastened to Jesus’ cross stating: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. What the governor meant as mockery becomes for us a stunning reminder that even in the midst of all the chaos, Jesus is indeed King and in total control. He may be silent, but He is in command. They may beat Him, but only because He allows it. They will kill Him, but He will bring it all to a grand conclusion for the benefit of humanity to the glory of God. Jesus was King during His crucifixion and He is still King even during chaotic, troubled periods in your life. And you can trust Him for He lives and loves you deeply. Jesus guides us, comes alongside, and even carries us when we are weak and tired. One of my favorite illustrations of Jesus is Jesus as our Shepherd: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
Jesus the Shepherd-King is in control and most of all, He is with you. He is always ready to comfort, ready to protect, ready to strengthen, and always ready to walk with you, even at the roughest times in life. He was in control of the most “chaotic” time in His life, so how much more will He be with yours?
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