A Sign for the King

inri2c“So his [Pilate’s] last word, brief and to the point, was ‘What I have written I have written.’ Having said that he left them with their ‘king.’ In this remarkable detail, which occurs only in John, we see the con­tinuation of the line that runs through the entire trial before Pilate: he still can still not exercise any power other than what has been ‘given from above’ (vs. 11). What he was unwilling to undo—let the crucified Jesus of Nazareth be identified as the Messiah, the king of Israel—is, in fact, the pivotal issue in the en­tire passion narrative. And this is so in what follows, as Pilate and ‘the Jews’ recede into the background and the focus is shifted to the crucified Jesus himself.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary, p. 607).

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