December 20, 2022

The King We Get

Mark 15:16-20

The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.

—  Mark 15:26

Jesus is a human being, like any of us. Yet Jesus is extraordinary too. Because Jesus is a king. Who of us can say that?

When an angel announces the birth of Jesus, he is described as a king (Luke 1:32-33). When the Magi (wise men) journey to find Jesus, they are seeking a king (Matthew 2:2).

But Jesus winds up not looking much like a king. Instead of faithful followers, he has a band of disciples who betray him, deny him, or just abandon him. Instead of having a loyal army, he is mocked, beaten, and spit on by enemy soldiers. Instead of gold and jewels, he wears a crown of thorns. And instead of sitting high on a throne, he is lifted up onto a cross.

We might prefer to have Jesus be a superhero. Someone who stands tall. Some­one who has extraordinary powers. Someone who can deflect any attack and defeat every enemy. Someone who never loses. That’s the kind of king we want!

But the King we get is as vulnerable as any of us. The King we get dies like any of us, like all of us. This means our King is human, as human as any of us. And he’s just the King we need.

King Jesus, open our eyes a bit more today. Help us to see the King you are so that we can know the King we need. Amen.

About the author — Bob Arbogast

Bob Arbogast is the pastor of Celebration Fellowship church in Ionia, Michigan. In his spare time, he plays guitar in a West Michigan blues band. He and his wife Jan have been married forty years and have three adult daughters. Bob has been praying the psalms since 2002.

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