Two kingdoms are on trial as Jesus the King stands in judgment before Pilate the governor of Judea. or was it Pilate who was sitting in judgment before Jesus?

Pilate’s reign as the governor of Judea was defined by:

  • the power of Rome that appointed him to be the governor of Judea
  • the abuse of power as Jesus was flogged and mocked by having a crown of thorns placed on his head
  • the power of fear as Pilate confronted the leaders of Judaism who demanded that Jesus be crucified
  • the power of self-survival as Pilate’s failed attempts to release Jesus resulted in him handing Jesus over to be crucified

Jesus’ reign as the King of God’s Kingdom was defined by:

  • the power of God that appointed him to be the King of God’s kingdom
  • the power of vulnerability as the Roman soldiers mocked Jesus by saying, “Hail, King of the Jews” and then striking him on his face
  • the power of trust as Jesus told Pilate, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above
  • the power of sacrificial love as he was handed over to be crucified

The reality of Pilate’s kingdom is defined by the story of a ship-wrecked sailor who had been stranded on a desert island for three years. He could hardly believe his eyes when he saw a ship on the horizon. When he signaled, the ship stopped, dropped anchor, and a small boat came ashore. The officer stepped out and handed him a batch of newspapers. “The captain suggests that you read what is going on in the world and then let us know if you still want to be rescued.”

The reality of Jesus’ kingdom is defined by Graeme Goldsworthy as “God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule.”

On Christ the King Sunday, we have a choice to make. In which kingdom shall we live – the kingdom of Pilate or the kingdom of Jesus?

Which kingdom do you choose?

Kingdoms on Trial

by Pastor Marc Brown
November 26, 2023

Accompanying Scriptures: John 19:1-16

Fort Hill United Methodist Church
Order of Worship for November 26, 2023

Scripture Lesson    John 19:1-16

The Good News      “Kingdoms on Trial”

Music                          “For Him We Sing (Psalm 96)” by J. Dishman



Closing Music      “St. Colombia” by Penny Rodriguez

View more Fort Hill United Methodist Church online services.

Follow us: