Read: John 19:17-30
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The King Died for Us
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If you’ve never played king of the hill on a snow pile, here’s how it works. You and your friends scramble to the top and, once reached, you do your best to be the last one up there. You grapple (gently!) with others to keep them off, or maybe throw snowballs, or perhaps just sit down to keep anyone from moving you. The stronger or bigger you are the better chance you have at being king.
Our Bible reading today talks about a hill, a place called Golgotha, and about a king, that’s Jesus. But if you were there that day and saw everything that happened, you’d never guess that Jesus was the King. One of the Roman soldiers would be a likelier option; they look strong, with solid armor. Or maybe one of the chief priests of the Jews; they look like important, powerful people. Honestly, you’d expect the king to be almost anyone but Jesus! After all, Jesus had been rejected by his own people—that doesn’t look like a king. And Jesus had to carry his own, heavy cross to that place—that doesn’t look like a king. And Jesus was nailed to that cross, with criminals crucified beside him—that doesn’t look like a king. Even Jesus’ clothing was taken from him and divided among the soldiers—that doesn’t look like a king.
But remember what kind of king Jesus is and why he came to be on that hill. Our King Jesus didn’t come to be waited on by servants; no, he came instead to serve others. Our King Jesus didn’t come to help himself; he came to help others. Our King Jesus didn’t come to boast about his power or knowledge or miracles; he came with a humble heart, to seek and to save those who were lost.
He came to save you.
When we understand what kind of king Jesus is, the scene on that hill makes sense. Jesus our King was rejected by his people because he loved you. Jesus our King carried his cross to Golgotha because he loved you. Jesus our King bled and died there because he loved you. Jesus came to be our King—not by showing his power and flexing his might, but by showing his love and giving his life as payment for my sin and yours.
Truly, Jesus was the King on that hill—your King and mine!
Lord Jesus, you are truly the King of love. Because of your sacrifice we will live forever. Help us today and always to treasure your saving love. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What’s the name of the place where Jesus was crucified?
- Why do you want Jesus to be your king?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Think back to the crowds on Palm Sunday, when Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt. What’s different about this scene?
- What blessings do you get to enjoy because Jesus died for your sins?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Just before he died, Jesus said: “It is finished.” What is the significance of these words?
- To those watching, Jesus’ suffering and death looked like defeat. Yet how was Good Friday actually Jesus’ victory?
Hymn: CW 138:1,2 – Oh, Perfect Life of Love
Oh, perfect life of love!
All, all is finished now,
All that he left his throne above
To do for us below.
In perfect love he dies;
For me he dies, for me!
O all-atoning Sacrifice,
You died to make me free!