When I was little we played King of the Hill. I’m not sure we played it correctly. It was basically a fight to see who could push or pull most successfully. One person would stand on top of something: a hay bale, a trailer bed, a pile of rocks, and send out a challenge, “I’m king of the hill!”
Suddenly everyone was racing to push the self-appointed king from his or her perch. Whoever was successful at dethroning the king then laid claim to the spot, only to be duly removed by the next pusher in line. It usually ended with someone hurt.
Some of the saddest words recorded in scripture are those of the chief priests, “We have no king but Caesar!” Unwilling to allow Jesus the spotlight, the priests pulled him down and pushed Caesar onto the throne. They couldn’t recognize Jesus as king in a world where power and wealth ruled.
Pilate saw no threat when he looked at Jesus. The man of humility was definitely not a threat to Pilate’s princely claims. Known for teaching and healing the sick, Jesus didn’t look capable of claiming kingship. Still Pilate allowed the chief priests to completely remove Jesus as competition.
He was scourged, taunted, ridiculed, and tortured. He carried his own cross up the Via Dolorosa. And there, at the top of the hill, he began his ascent to the throne.
In what areas of your life are you claiming “no king but Caesar”?
They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” John 19:15 ESV