Symbols of Royalty
Easter Artifacts – Message 1
March 14, 2021
I. Introduction: Today, we being our Easter series entitled Easter Artifacts.
- Matthew 27:27-31. C/R: Matthew 27:11-31; John 18:33-39; 19:1-16
A. An artifact is a handmade object, such as a tool, weapon, ornament, or cloth, which reveals information about a particular time or certain situation, especially from the distant past.
- All of Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17), so everything mentioned in a passage, including the physical items referred to, were included deliberately by God, so there is important information to be discerned from reflecting on them.
- We will think about the spiritual and practical meanings of these objects and items in this series about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
- Today’s theme verse: Matthew 27:11b (NLT)—…“Are You the king of the Jews?” the governor [Pilate] asked…
- The items included in today’s passage are the crown of thorns, reed and robe [which] reveal Jesus as sovereign king.
- We will consider the nature and characteristics of the kingdom of Jesus, our Christ.
II. The kingdom of Jesus is…
A. #1 - Ridiculed in this world. (Matthew 27:27-31. C/R: Matthew 5:10-12; John 19:2-3;
1 Peter 4:12-14,19)
- Jesus was tried for insurrection before Pilate, the Roman governor, though the Jewish religious leaders accused Him of blasphemy.e publicly declared Jesus innocent several times, but he wanted to avoid an uprising which would be reported to Caesar, so he yielded to the pressure of the Jewish leaders, had Jesus flogged, then turned Him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.
- Matthew 27:27 (NLT)—Some of the governor’s [Pilate] soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment [of 600]. [Gathered an audience.]
- Pilate thought Jesus was innocent, but he was a cruel and merciless man who, didn’t initiate, but allowed these soldiers to abuse Jesus, but not kill Him, before execution.
- Pilate was more interested in political self-preservation than providing justice for Jews, so killing Jesus, even unjustly, would eliminate a potential problem for him.
- Matthew 27:28-30 (NLT)—28They [soldiers] stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. [Likely belonged to one of the soldiers; Mark and John report it as purple, suggesting it was intended to indicate royalty.] 29They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on His head [mimicked king’s headwear], and they placed a reed stick in His right hand as a scepter [the symbol of a king’s authority and power]. Then they knelt before Him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 30And they spit on Him and grabbed the stick and struck Him on the head with it. [Already bleeding, swollen, and painful.]
- According to John 19:3, they also struck Him with their fist!
- Matthew 27:31 (NLT)—When they were finally tired of mocking Him, they took off the robe and put His own clothes on Him again. Then they led Him away to be crucified.
- This torment was wicked, but unrelated to personal hatred; these soldiers were ignorant of Jesus’ identity, they were merely cruel men abused a convicted criminal.
- These men mocked and mistreated the Son of God, but their ridicule reflected the true identity of Jesus as a king who would one day rule the world and subdue His enemies who sinned against Him, intentionally or ignorantly, like these soldiers.
- King Jesus is disrespected in our culture: His name is used to express a range of emotions including anger and irritation, but also even humor and enjoyment.
- His rule is ridiculed when people mock His moral standards as narrow-minded, uninformed, intolerant, unrealistic (to expect people to obey), even ridiculous!
- Even often among professing Christians, His Word is often seen, not as the command of our king, but rather, the suggestion of a wise, moral, teacher that can be accepted or rejected as we wish, since we consider ourselves the rulers of our lives.
- If we are Jesus’ obedient followers, we will be mocked and mistreated, but blessed!
- Matthew 5:10–12 (NLT)—10“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
11“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are My followers. 12Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. …”
- APP.: Will you endure ridicule and suffering for Christ’s sake today for future reward?
The kingdom of Jesus is…
B. #2 - Realized spiritually. (John 18:33-38. C/R: Matthew 4:17; Luke 17:20-21; John 8:31-32)
- The Jewish leaders portrayed Jesus to Pilate as attempting to overthrow Roman rule and establish His own, a threat the governor would not overlook.
- The conversation of John 18:33-38 occurred during Jesus’ trial before Pilate, before He
was released to the soldiers for crucifixion.
- John 18:33 (NLT)—Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are You the king of the Jews?” he asked Him. [Incredulous, skeptical: “Are You the King of the Jews? So, where are Your followers, Your army?]
- Pilate was attempting to determine whether Jesus was a threat to Roman power.
- John 18:34 (NLT)—34Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about Me?” [If Pilate’s question, the answer was, “no,” because He was not a military ruler or political king; in fact, He had refused the crowds attempt to make Him that sort of king (John 6:16), but, “yes,” to the Jews, He is the Messiah, Israel’s true king.]
- John 18:35-38 (NLT)—35“Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted [disdain and frustration]. “Your own people and their leading priests brought You to me for trial. [It’s their accusation, not mine!] Why? What have You done?” [For what reason did they hand You over? He suspected that the religious leaders arrested Jesus out of envy; Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10]
36Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, My followers would fight to keep Me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. [Jesus allowed Himself to be arrested.] But My Kingdom is not of this world.” [Jesus’ kingdom is invisible but real, composed of born-again people whose sins have been forgiven.]
37Pilate said, “So You are a king?”
Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, [He explains His purpose.] I was born and came into the world [from heaven] to testify to the truth. [About the meaning and purpose of life, the process of forgiveness, the plan for salvation, spiritual growth and divine guidance.] All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”
38“What is truth?” Pilate asked. … [Skepticism, confusion, spiritual ignorance.]
- As believers, we recognize, we know, what is true because we know Jesus Christ, who is
the way, truth, and the life and the only access to the Heavenly Father (John 14:6).
- John 8:31–32 (NLT)—31Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, “You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. 32And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [Free from temptation, manipulation, deception and confusion, because we know what is true, so we know how to live.]
- We always live according to what we believe to be true—about God, ourselves, other people and this world!
- APP.: Is Jesus, God’s Spirit, the source of your beliefs or is the world, this culture?
The kingdom of Jesus is…
C. #3 - Reflected in my life. (Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 1:21-23; Philippians 3:17-21;
2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
- When I have been born again by the Holy Spirit through the truth of Christ, I become a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20), who is temporarily residing on earth.
- For believers, the kingdom of God is among us and within each of us (Luke 17:20-21), revealing truth, supplying discernment and providing direction.
- All who belong to Christ are already living in the kingdom of God, living under the rule of Jesus, led by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- Kingdom citizenship is our greatest influence, our primary identity, not our race, ethnicity, political party affiliation, social views, or national heritage.
- Outwardly, we look like everyone else on earth, but we are not the same!
- We have a king—not a tyrannical dictator, but a loving shepherd—His name is Jesus!
- We do the king’s bidding; we carry out His commands and undertake His assignments!
- We gather with other kingdom citizens in the church, the collected body of our king, to worship and serve our sovereign.
- We experience His fullness by joining into intimate fellowship with others and sharing the common responsibility of reconciling people to God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
- 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT)—So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
- Kingdom living includes ALL of us calling others to be made right with God by faith.
- Matthew 28:18–20 (NLT)—18Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, … 20And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
- APP.: It’s time to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission to us; whom are you reaching?
The kingdom of Jesus is…
D. #4 - Revealed at His return. (Daniel 7:13-14; Mark 13:26-27; 1 Timothy 6:15; Philippians 2:5-11)
- The kingdom of God is an invisible kingdom, with an invisible ruler, but one day, He’ll return visibly, undeniably, witnessed by all!
- [E]veryone will see [Him] coming on the clouds with great power and glory. [Mark 13:26]
- Some will rejoice and others regret, but none will refuse to recognize Him, because every knee will bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:10-11)
- 1 Timothy 6:15 (NLT)—For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
- APP.: Maybe today! Are you ready for His return?