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The Kingship of Jesus as depicted in his trial and death
John 18:28-19:1-22

Scripture reading: Psalm 2

Over the last month we have been reading and studying the Gospel of John together.

The Gospel of John was written for this purpose: To lead people to a faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord

The repeated call of Jesus in the Gospel of John is for us to believe in him--- As you may remember, the crowd said to Jesus "What must we do to do the work God requires?". In response to this Jesus said "The work of God is this, to believe in the One he has sent"

Last week we considered a very important theme in the Gospel of John-- that of Jesus' relationship with his FATHER--- God the Father. In speaking of the Father, one of Jesus' big assertions was this "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father." I hope that you took some time this week to think about about what Jesus meant by this and also to think about your relationship with God the Father.

Today I want to explore with you the subject of Jesus' kingship, in part, from the perspective of Jesus' trial and death as recorded in John 18:28-19:22.

READ John 18:1-14 then walk through the rest of John 18 and some of John 19 considering various verses wherein the kingship of Jesus is raised.

Some general points on THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS

In the Gospel of John the kingship of Jesus is highlighted in 2 spots: John 12 and Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem as King (fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9) and John 18-19

Zechariah 9:9 says; "Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

The kingship of Jesus is a theme that is taken up throughout the entirety of the Bible. i.e Genesis 49:10-11, 2 Samuel 7:11-16, Psalm 2, Daniel 2, Matthew 2, Revelation 19:16

Genesis 49:10-11 says: "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.


1. An identity question is asked... "Are you the king of the Jews?" v.33

Pilate probably asked this because this was the charge the chief priests brought Jesus to Pilate on-- and yet such was an identity question that takes it's place in the Gospel of John as part of it's appeal for faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord

2. Jesus declares himself to be a king. Read v.36,37

Jesus did not back down from this assertion

A key thing about Jesus' kingdom: It's a spiritual one

There are 2 kingdoms-- Christ's, Satan's

Presently Jesus kingdom is a spiritual one-- being one of the heart and evidenced in the universal church. One day Jesus' Kingdom will manifest itself literally. See Revelation 20

Are you one of Christ's subjects?

3. Throughout his trial and in his death Jesus was declared to be a king. see v.37,39; 19:14,15, 19-22

While Pilate at first didn't seem to really believe Jesus was a king-- there is a remarkable progression in the text, the culmination being in the sign above Jesus' head : The King of the Jews

Even in his being mocked, Jesus is declared to be King. 19:1-5

Note: The sign above Jesus' head did not read as a charge against Jesus, nor as a claim Jesus made, but as an actual declaration v.19-22

In a number of ways the Kingship of Jesus is declared in his trial and death, but perhaps the most fascinating way is the sign that was placed over Jesus' head.

It was common practice for the Romans to post the crime of the executed over their heads. However, the language of the sign over Jesus is so direct that it actually seems to stand as an actual declaration of Jesus' identity

4. The Kingship of Jesus was rejected by the Jews. 18:40; 19:6,12,15, 21

Note in particular 19:15 "We have no king but Caesar"

Ponder Psalm 2 and the exhortation to "Kiss the Son lest he be angry with you and you be destroyed in your way"

For the most part, the Jewish rejection of Jesus continues to this day-- though it will not always be so (See Romans 9-11)

Historically, Israel's rejection of God as there king was not a new thing. In I Samuel 8 the people came to Samuel asking for a king, no longer wanting to rely on prophets like Samuel. Consider especially I Samuel 8:6-8; But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you

Where are you at as it regards Jesus and his Kingship? Have you bent your knee to his rule? (Philippians 2)

5. Some other things to note about the presentation of Jesus as King in his trial and death

Things to note:

a. Jesus adorned as king (while it was in jest, it nonetheless emphasizes the point of Jesus' kingship)
b. Jesus hailed and honored as king (while it was in jest, again, the truth of his kingship is emphasized)
c. Jesus was crucified in the pre-eminent position amongst the 3 crosses. 19:18
d. Throughout his trial and in his death, Jesus carried himself as a king-- with dignity, regality, composure, and with a true air of authority (for Pilate truly feared Christ. Note 19:7-11)


As for who he is: Jesus is a King --and not just any king, for in Revelation 19:16 he is said to be THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

Jesus' Kingship requires that we love, worship, obey, and honor him

Are you a member of his Kingdom? Have you sworn your allegiance to Him? Have you surrendered to his rule?

Christian: Do not be discouraged in your service of King Jesus. His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom. His reign is an unending one