“Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’” (John 19:15)
In Jesus’ day, the people of Israel were under Roman oppression. They longed for political freedom and independence. So, when Jesus gained popularity, people hoped that He was the promised Messiah and would restore David’s throne, expel the Romans and bring peace and prosperity. For example, when He fed five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, the people planned to come get Him and make Him their king (John 6:15).
He seemed the perfect candidate for the crown! But Jesus walked away. As He said later, His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). His goal was not (yet) to establish a political kingdom, but a spiritual one. He wanted people to surrender to God and accept Him as their Lord and King, while at the same time living in an earthly kingdom or empire, often under oppressive regimes. That was an enormous disappointment for many people. They turned away from Jesus and even turned against Him. Stirred up by the religious leaders, they demanded His death.
Do you accept Jesus as your King?