This is a great, fantastic death for our benefit. John is saying ‘please become a Christian’ throughout his book.
You should become a Christian because Jesus is the King
We get the idea that Jesus is the king but no one really believes it. John does. The sign above Jesus’ head is there for everyone to see, for maximum effect. He really is the king of all of God’s people. He’s the king who fulfils God’s promises. It might be natural to look at the cross and see defeat. It looks like failure. We forget how unlike a victory it looks. Many of the people walking past may have listened to him and followed him. They think he can’t be what he claimed.
The psalms quoted are written by David. They rise up with a sense of triumph as God rescues David. They reflect God’s king appearing to be in a hopeless situation. John quotes Zechariah too. It’s not just God’s king that is pierced but it’s God speaking. John is telling us that Jesus is God.
Jesus is the king who serves others. Even here he is serving others. His mother is watching and Jesus wants to make sure she’ll be looked after. He’s the king who serves others even as he dies. This is a small picture of what he does for all people. He dies in our place. God is gracious. He accepts a lamb in the place of us. John tells us what the Passover was hinting at. It was only ever meant to point us to God’s grace. John wants us to see that Jesus is our Passover lamb sacrificed in our place.
Before Jesus died he set up communion. As he dies everything that he came to do is finished. Becoming a Christian isn’t just ticking a box. It means having Jesus as your king. Keep believing.