King of Love
In a moving scene in the movie, The Madness of King George, the King, who appears to be going mad with a then undiagnosed illness is being chased around the room by a group of heavies, appointed by the new doctor. He is distraught, as he has is captured and tied into a chair. “But I am the king, I am the king,” he tearfully demonstrates. “No, sir!” replied the doctor sternly, “You are the patient.”
Today, as we recall the events of Good Friday, we wrestle with the kingship of Jesus. ‘Yes, I am a king,’ he had told Pilate in his interrogation and Pilate, despite the criticisms, had inscribed the words, ‘The King of the Jews’ above his head which itself had been crowned with thorns. He had been dressed in purple robes as the soldiers bow in mock adoration. Throughout his ministry, Jesus had spoken about the Kingdom of God, and yet, arms outstretched on the cross, his blood spattered, wounded body on display for all to see, it seems that the king has become the patient. The one through whom the world was made, is the one who has things done to him, powerless and pitiful.
And yet, Jesus is the one who lays down his life. He is certain that it has not been taken from him. The hour of which he had spoken has come. After the agony in the garden, when he prayed so intently, “Yet not my will but yours be done,” he lays down his life. He does not remonstrate, does not complain that he is the King. He submits to the will of God the Father, utters words of forgiveness, promises paradise to a dying thief, speaks love into the heart and home of Mary and John. He takes upon him the sins of the whole world, as he expresses perfect love. It is love which lies at the heart of this King’s law, a love which does and will transform, a love which brings life, new life.
Lord God, with sorrow we pray, for our sins and the sins of the whole world. With thankfulness we pray for the saving death and resurrection of Jesus, who is Lord and King for ever and ever. Amen.