What do you call an innocent man who willingly dies for the guilty?
The same man who would willingly humble Himself to be with those He loved.
Last week we talked about Herod the Great and how he was willing to do anything to preserve his crown and his throne. The death of innocent children was literally nothing to this man. The death of his own family was nothing when compared to the glory and power of his rule. His cruel zealousness for his throne knew no bounds. Heaven help the man, woman, or child who got in his way.
Herod the Great Versus Jesus of Nazareth
How different from the King who would come after him, an upside down King with an upside down kingdom. In the kingdom of Jesus from Nazareth:
– the first are last and the last are first.
– the greatest among you is the servant of all
– your first priority is not your own comfort but the glory of the King
– the servants are brothers and the slaves are friends.
In this new kingdom all are truly equal and justice flows like a river bringing salvation to everyone it touches.
But this different kingdom should not surprise us because this King is just as different as His kingdom. This King didn’t grasp for power, He willingly laid it down. This King didn’t expect to be served but instead, came to serve. This King humbly bent down to wash His servants feet. This King desired His Father’s glory and did His Father’s will in everything.
Unlike Herod the Great, Jesus was a King who put His people’s needs above His own. Even when He was tired and wanting space He comforted, healed, and taught the crowds that followed Him. (Mt 14:13-14) He graciously welcomed those who could do absolutely nothing for His reputation and His status and blessed the little children. (Mt 19:13-14) Eating with undesirables, healing all who came to Him, and talking with anyone who would listen, this King genuinely cared for His people. Rich or poor, old or young, man or woman, if you were seeking God, then Jesus was seeking you.
This was a King worth dying for, but this was also a King who chose to die Himself so that others wouldn’t have to.
Unlike Herod the Great, Jesus of Nazareth left His glorious throne to walk among His people. Instead of asking hundreds to die to protect and preserve Him, Jesus gave up His life to protect and preserve His people. Jesus was a King unlike any this world has ever seen.
He was a King willing to die for His people.