We all want to be accepted for who we are and for what we have to offer. What a blow it is, then, to be dismissed, ostracized, and rejected.

No one knew this experience more deeply than Jesus. Offering acceptance for so many, he was still misunderstood, feared, and ultimately put to death.

God offers this acceptance now to you. Open your heart to receive that love, as well as the one who came to show it to us.

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When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.”

Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

John 19:13–16a

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The chief priests rejected Jesus as their king and pledged their loyalty to the Roman Emperor. They staked their lives, and maybe their eternal lives, on a human being (the Emperor) and a human system (the Roman empire). They missed an opportunity to participate in God’s love shown in Jesus for the salvation of the world.

I can’t help but wonder how many times I’ve faced the same choice and made the same mistake. “Here is your King!” I have no king but my sports team, with tournaments instead of mission trips. I have no king but Instagram, with mean comments instead of protecting a friend. I have no king but popularity, with appearances instead of substance. I have no king but….

I can’t help but wonder how many times I’ve rejected Jesus as my king and missed an opportunity to participate in God’s love shown in Jesus.

Jay Kieve

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Jesus, forgive me for choosing the wrong king sometimes. Restore me in your love and lead me to participation in your salvation of the world. Amen.

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Jesus is coming. Will you accept him?
You have a gift. Will you offer it?
There will be sacrifice. Can you make it?

The gospel of Christ is scandalous,
Yet it contains the very bread of life.

The choice is yours to make.

Jay Kieve

Jay Kieve is coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina. His wife, Melanie, works for Clemson University. His son, Jesse (17), is a junior at Indian Springs School in Alabama, and his daughter, Emma (13), is a 7th grader at McCants Middle School in South Carolina.

Reflections on the Way: Son of My Soul

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