Jesus is Crucified
Jesus is pale and weary from blood loss. As He is stretched out on the cross, He watches the Roman soldier nail the sign of accusation against Him. Pilate had the sign written in three languages, Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. In English it reads: “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.” This is how Jesus is labeled by His accusers. Intended as an insult and mockery, these words are the first things ever written directly about Jesus. Think of that; Pilate’s words about Jesus are actually the first Gospel account in a very condensed form, just seven words. Jesus is indeed from Nazareth, raised as the son of a carpenter: He is the Son of Man. He is also called the Son of David, and as such is the King of the Jews.
Whenever a word or phrase is repeated in two (and in this case, three) languages in scripture, I see it as spiritual “highlighting,” using language as a way to get my attention. These languages express three different influential social arenas. Aramaic (similar to Hebrew), was spoken by the Jews, who were greatly oppressed by the the Roman empire. Latin was associated with the Roman government and military, while Greek was the common language of the time, used for culture and commerce. Whatever our realm of influence is, be it spiritual, governmental, military, cultural, or commercial, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus carry great significance and meaning for us.