So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. – Matthew 27:24-31 (NLT)
With the washing of his hands, Pilate signals he thinks Jesus is innocent. But he does nothing to save Jesus. The Roman soldiers have their turn with Jesus. They dress Jesus in a robe, put a crown (of thorns) on his head, and gave him a scepter (reed). The soldiers were mocking Jesus, but Matthew uses this as an illustration of how the upside-down kingdom of God enthrones as king a condemned man. Jesus gets his seat at the right hand of the Father by obediently dying on a cross (Philippians 2:8). Jesus becomes the king God always intended him to be. A king has ultimate authority, power, and sovereignty in their territory. If we allow him, Jesus displays these traits in his kingdom, our hearts.
How would an earthly king deal with his subjects if they didn’t obey him? How have you submitted to Jesus’ will today or in the last week? How much of the time are you spending doing the things you want to do instead of obeying God?