A student of history will find that regarding human nature, “change” is basically an unknown.
John 19:15 – But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Before Christ was born, Rome, as an empire and a nation was in trouble. Through his politico-military tactics, Julius Caesar established himself as the dictator over Rome. Upon his death, his nephew Octavius, came to power and was recognized as Augustus, Emperor of Rome. Many people looked upon Julius Caesar as a god of sorts, and after his death, the same people viewed Augustus Caesar as the son of god, of sorts.
By the time of Jesus’ birth, the emperor of Rome was Tiberius Caesar. Knowing this brief element of history makes the statement of the people regarding their cry to crucify Jesus much more interesting. Notice their final statement in our Text for Today. They cried, “We have no king but Caesar.” Jesus had come declaring that He was the Son of God, not self-made as many of them declared, but having been declared so by numerous other witnesses, including the voice of God Himself at the water baptism of Jesus by John Baptist near Jordan. There Father Himself declared, “This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.”
I write these words today for the believer to be encouraged in this present age. Like never before in my lifetime, those who will boldly declare themselves to be Christian, who hold fast to the truth of God’s Word, who hold true to Godly living according to the Word of God, and who refuse to compromise the integrity of their faith to calm or satisfy the world, and potentially even worse, the religious-minded elements of modern Christianity, are being persecuted, mocked, scorned, and even physically and emotionally attacked. At times there is almost a mob-mentality that rises against anyone who dares to speak forth Biblical standards of living for mankind today.
My friend, should you choose to live holy, act Godly, speak Biblical Truth, and hold fast to your faith in Jesus Christ, expect persecution. But know this; that with such persecution comes a manifest presence of blessing into and upon your life, for as Jesus said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” So, what happened to Jesus is still happening to sons and daughters of God today. Don’t think it strange, but instead, REJOICE, CHILD OF GOD, REJOICE!
Manna for Today – John 19:1-15; Matthew 5:10-12