The King of the Jews

Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. – Matthew 21:9

But they cried, saying, Crucify Him, crucify Him! – Luke 23:21

Jesus was the son of David, and therefore He was by natural right the King of the Jews. If He had taken possession of His own, He would have been sitting on the throne of the chosen dynasty of David by right of birth. He was, moreover, as the Messiah, and Christ, the King of His people Israel. Concerning Him it had been said by the prophet, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Our Lord Jesus literally came to Zion in this manner. As King He rode to His capital and entered His palace. In His priestly royalty the Son of God went to His Father’s house, to the temple of sacrifice and sovereignty. Among the tribes of Israel is He seen to be “one chosen out of the people,” whom the LORD had given to be a leader and commander for the people. Although they might afterwards choose Barabbas, and cry that they had no king but Caesar, yet Jesus was their King, as Pilate reminded them, when he said, “Shall I crucify your king?” and as His cross declared when it bore the legal inscription, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.” Before His trial and His condemnation, He had put in a public claim to the rights and prerogatives of Zion’s king, whom God has set upon His holy hill. Would to God all my hearers fully recognized our Lord’s kingdom and yielded to His sway! Oh, that you would bow before Him, and put your trust in Him! Part of His intent in riding through Jerusalem was that we also might know Him and reverence Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

We Must Speak of Our Bleeding Savior

…and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him... – Matthew 20:18, 19

The priests, whose office made them types of Himself, and the scribes, who were the official interpreters of His Father’s Book, these condemned the holy One and the just. They count Him worthy of death: nothing less will serve their turn. This the Christ could plainly see; and it was no small trial to come under the censure of His country’s governors. They could not put Him to death themselves. If they dared, they would have stoned Him, and that would have broken the prophecy, which declared that in death His enemies must pierce His hands and His feet. They can condemn Him to death, but they cannot execute the sentence. Yet none the less this iron entered into His soul, that those who were professedly the servants of God condemned Him to die…They delivered Him to the Gentiles. The Master dwells on this. It opens another gate through which His sorrows poured. At the hands of the Gentiles He dies, and for Gentiles He suffered. Beloved, I like to see how the Master notes this point. He makes distinctions; He does not say that He should be condemned by Pilate; but He is condemned to die by the chief priests, and then He is delivered to the Gentiles…O believer, behold thy Lord bound and taken away to the hall of Pilate. See Him delivered to the Gentiles, while His fellow-countrymen cry, “We have no king but Caesar”! They shout, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” and the Gentiles carry out their cruel demand…These three words follow-“To mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him.”…What dreadful scorning He endured! It was cruel, cutting, cursed scorn. They mocked Him and they scourged Him…We must exhibit the bleeding Savior, if we would make men’s hearts bleed for sin. The cries of His great grief must ring in their ears, or they will remain deaf. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

For Jehovah’s Glory

Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will, but Thine, be done. – Luke 22:42

On the third day, it would all be over, and the recompense would begin. A few hours of bitter grief; a night of bloody sweat, a night and a morning of mockery, when He should be flouted by the abjects and made nothing of by the profane; a direful afternoon of deadly anguish on the cross, and of dark desertion by Jehovah; and then the bowing of the head, and a little rest in the grave for His body; and on the third day the light would break upon mankind, for the Sun of righteousness would arise with healing in His wings. The light that would come when He should rise would lighten the Gentiles and be the glory of His people Israel…He would shortly afterward ascend to reap His reward in personal glorification, and in receiving gifts for men-yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.

Surely our Lord’s thoughts were all the while upon His Father! He remembered ever the beloved Father to whom He was to be “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” That twenty-second psalm, which might well be our Lord’s on the Cross, is full of God: it is an appeal to God. As our Lord went on His way with the twelve, conversing upon the road, they must have seen that He was in close communion with God. There was about Him a deep solemnity of spirit a rapt communion with the Unseen, a heavenly walking with God, even beyond His usual wont. This, mixed with His deeply fixed resolve, and that stern joy which only they can feel who are resolved to accomplish a great purpose through bowing to the divine will, let it cost what it may. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus was everything to Him, and in all His acts His heart was set upon Jehovah’s glory. – C.H. Spurgeon

Christ’s Pledge

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him… – Matthew 20:18,19

Our Lord was forecasting His death in all its mournful details. Do you not know that frequently it is more painful to anticipate death than it is actually to die? Yet our Lord dwelt upon His sufferings, even to their minutiae…Our Lord was like a grain of wheat which is cast into the ground and lies there awhile before it dies. He was buried, as it were, in prospective agony; immersed in suffering, which He foresaw. In the thought of the cross He endured it before He felt the nails. The shadow of His death was upon Him before He reached the tree of doom. Yet He did not put away the thought but dwelt upon it as one who tastes a cup before he drinks it to the dregs. After so deliberate a testing, is it not all the more marvellous that He did not refuse the draught? Did He not remember His engagement to go through with our redemption? “Lo, I come”, said He: “in the volume of the Book it is written of Me.” He had pledged Himself by solemn covenant, and in the Book it was written that He would stand in our stead and give His life an offering for sin. From this suretiship He never departed. He knew that the Father would bruise Him and put Him to grief in the approaching day of His anger. He knew that the wicked would pierce His hands and His feet. He knew all that would occur, and He started not back from the pledge which He had given in the council chamber of eternity- that His life should be rendered up as a ransom for many. It were well if we also remembered our vows to God, and the obligations under which we are placed by His great love. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

This is Our Lord Jesus Christ

…And shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again. – Matthew 20:19

“The third day He shall rise again.” Oh, that blessed doctrine of the resurrection! If our Lord’s record ended at the cross, it might drive us to despair; but He is declared to be the Son of God with power by His resurrection from the dead. That He was raised from the dead makes us see the merit, the power, the great reward of His death. He that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the everlasting covenant, even He will make us perfect in every good work to do His will. Whenever the Master comes very near to us in His gracious condescension, He shows us not only that He shed His blood for us, but that He rose again, and ever liveth to carry on our cause. When you worship most closely, you will worship Him that lived, and died, and rose again, and now liveth for ever and ever. This is our Lord Jesus Christ. He is not a teacher only, or a bright example merely; but the One whose death is the source of our salvation, and whose resurrection and eternal glory are the guarantee and foretaste of our everlasting bliss. A living, dying, risen Christ is the One with whom we have joyful fellowship; and if we know Him not in this character, we do not know Him at all. It was well for Him to speak to them on such a practical theme: they would be cheered and comforted on after days when they remembered that He had told them of these things. He will draw us into very intimate communion if we are willing to take up His cross and bear His reproach. We lose much when we quit the separated path because it is rough, for we lose our Lord’s sweet company. Oh, for grace to love the rough paths, because we see His footprints upon them! ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Holy Character

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. – 1 Thessalonians 1:7

The wedding dress is a holy character, the imparted righteousness which the Holy Spirit works in us, and which is equally necessary as a proof of grace…Holiness is always present in those who are loyal guests of the great King, for “without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” Too many professors pacify themselves with the idea that they possess imputed righteousness, while they are indifferent to the sanctifying work of the Spirit. They refuse to put on the garment of obedience, they reject the white linen which is the righteousness of saints. They thus reveal their self-will, their enmity to God, and their nonsubmission to His Son. Such men may talk what they will about justification by faith, and salvation by grace, but they are rebels at heart, they have not on the wedding dress any more than the self-righteous, whom they so eagerly condemn. The fact is, if we wish for the blessings of grace, we must in our hearts submit to the rules of grace without picking and choosing. It is idle to dispute whether the wedding garment is faith or love, as some have done, for all the graces of the Spirit and blessings of the covenant go together. No one ever had the imputed righteousness of Christ without receiving at the same time a measure of the righteousness wrought in us by the Holy Spirit. Justification by faith is not contrary to the production of good works: God forbid. The faith by which we are justified is the faith which produces holiness, and no one is justified by faith which does not also sanctify him and deliver him from the love of sin. All the essentials of the Christian character may be understood as making up the great wedding garment. In one word, we put on Christ, and He is “made of God unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Prominent Badge of the Servant of God

And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. – Matthew 22:12

The man came in full exercise of self-will and self-love. He resolved to yield no homage, but to assert his independent self-sovereignty. He would show the king even at his table, where his bounties were so largely dispensed, that he was not afraid to affront him. When he came to the door of the feast, he found the guests all putting on the garment suitable for the marriage banquet…While others cheerfully put on this wedding dress the traitor would not; he resolved to defy the rules of the palace, and to insult the king by appearing in his own garments. He scorned to wear the livery of respectful joy, he preferred to make himself conspicuous by his daring insolence. Alas, how many are willing enough to receive gospel blessings, but they are still at enmity with God and have no delight in the only begotten Son. Such will dare to use the forms of godliness, and yet their hearts are full of rebellion against the Lord. The wedding garment represents anything which is indispensable to a Christian, but which the unrenewed heart is not willing to accept, anything which the Lord ordains to be a necessary attendant of salvation, against which selfishness rebels. Hence it may be said to be Christ’s righteousness imputed to us, for alas, many nominal Christians kick against the doctrine of justification by the righteousness of the Saviour and set up their own self-righteousness in opposition to it. To be found in Christ, not having our own righteousness, which is of the law, but having the righteousness, which is of God by faith, is a very prominent badge of a real servant of God, and to refuse it is to manifest opposition to the glory of God, and to the name, person, and work of His exalted Son. ~ C.H. Spurgeon