The Jews were blinded; still are. They did not believe their King, Jesus of Nazareth, was their King. They were blinded to the truth. Jesus was an imposter, they reasoned, and so they rejected Him, and sought to kill Him. It was just not possible this humble and meek man was who He claimed to be. From their youth they studied the Scriptures, but they zealously skipped over Isaiah 53, which foretold that their Messiah would come as the “suffering servant,” and that He would die a cruel death for their sins. No, they looked for the real Messiah in the mold of the warrior King David, who would one day crush their enemies and restore the Kingdom of Israel. They should have known what the Prophets said about the Messiah; they should have heeded what the Roman ruler, Pilate, said during his judgment of Jesus. Surely word went out as to what the Roman guards said and did to Him. And then their was the cross upon which our Lord was crucified. Did they not know what Pilate had written, even though they wanted the wording to be changed? Did they not hear Pilate’s final words?
When Jesus came to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast, it was the beginning of what we Christians call “Holy Week.” There He made His triumphal entry amid the roaring cheers of the crowds. First, Jesus had to fulfill the prophecy of the prophet of Zechariah, when he wrote:
“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.”
Not the bright, flowing robe of a king, on a great white horse, with sword and crown that the Jews might have expected. No, they missed it, for all prophecy must be fulfilled. He came into the city as a commoner, someone you could not pick out of the crowd. Humble and meek this man, with the dress as any ordinary man of that time. They missed what Isaiah wrote so long ago, how Messiah would be a servant.
But the masses did not miss this historic moment; they knew, and proclaimed Him their King, even if it was just for a short, glorious moment. We pick up the event in the Gospel According to the Apostle John, in chapter 12, verses 12-13:
“On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
The people knew, but the rulers of Israel, who were supposed to know the Scriptures, did not know! For they should have known who their Messiah was. But this was meant to be in the Plan of God.
Then comes a Gentile leader, a Roman and his soldiers who, knowingly or unknowingly spoke the truth during the trial of Jesus. Listen to the story as we pick up the account again in John 18:33-34; 37, 39…
“Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then?
Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice.”
Pilate then called out to the Jews: “But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?”
But they demanded the release of a robber named Barabbas, instead of Jesus. Pilate granted their evil wish.
The account picks up in chapter 19…
“And the soldiers made a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews, and they smote him with their hands.”
“And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he sayest unto the Jews, Behold your King!”
“Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”
And they crucified Him.
“And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the saying was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS…and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.”
“Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews: but that he said, I am King of the Jews.”
“Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.”
Many knew He was the King; most didn’t!
But, praise be to God, when Jesus comes the second time as the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, nobody will miss it.