I like how as we have read through the four accounts of Jesus’ death from the various gospels each of the authors has emphasized something different. Today I have seen John emphasize kingship.
The word “king” is used eight times in this chapter. Jesus receives a crown and a thorn. A crowd shouts for him. He is even enthroned in a significant way.
But this is a king of a very different sort. He wears a crown of thorns. He wears the purple robe only long enough to be mocked. He is slapped not saluted. People shout for him, but for his death not his glory. Let there be no mistake, Jesus is a king. Pilate says it several times, even when the people object. As he dies, Jesus hangs beneath a sign declaring it too:
Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews (19:19)
With this in mind, John paints the picture of this chapter as a paradoxical enthronement. This is Jesus the King, and the King has taken his throne.
Jesus is the king of sacrifice. His is a kingdom of selfless service where love is the power that changes the world. In this kingdom, victory comes through death. His subjects will follow his example. On this day the King is crowned and seated on his throne.