MEDITATION ON OUR LORD'S PASSION: Jesus Of Nazareth King Of The Jews.
GIOTTO di Bondone
Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.
Consider first, and mark every words of this title. (jesus) a Savior: which name our Lord received, when he first shed his blood for thee. For then seeking thy salvation, he gave part of his blood as a pledge, that he would afterwards give it all for thee. He then received at thy hands circumcision, which was the sign of a sinner, (even as it is the sign of a thief to be bored though the ears:) that the eternal Father omitting thee a sinner might satisfy his wrath upon his son. This name until that day was obscure, and of small reputation; but being fastened to the Cross, it became so glorious, that In the name of Jesus every knee is bowed (Of Nazareth) not on Bethlehem , although he were born in Bethlehem. First, because there was a greater miracle and benefit wrought in Nazareth by the incarnation and conception of our Lord, then by his Nativity in Bethlehem. Secondly, because Nazareth signifeth flourishing and Christ is an odoriferous flower hanging on the Cross, which rendreth unto us the wholesome fruit of grace and glory. (King) who being crowned with a Diadem clothed with blood like a purple robe, reignineth upright, and fast tied by the feet, ready to help thee; with his hands bored through because he would not keep his gifts, but bestow them plentifully upon thee; and with his arms spread, that he may embrace thee, when thou commest. He. did not write Bishop, or Priest, although he did the office of a Priest, but, King: both because he once by himself immolated the bloody sacrifice; by which he did consummate the sanctified, and reigneth forever and ever; and also because it is a priestly kingdom, & a kingly priesthood, where Christ being God is king, doing all things in power; and Christ being man is Priest, obtaining all things by sacrifice. (Of the Jews) sent first to the Jews, not to the gentiles. For I am not sent (saith our Lord) but to the sheep which perished of the house of Israel; and the gentiles do honor God for his mercy: that thou mist thank God, that the Messias was taken from the Jews, and offered unto thee; and show thy self in praising God a true Jew, not by carnal birth, but by spiritual circumcision of thy vices, and true confessions thy sins.
Consider secondly, the true cause of the Cross was to save thee, to adorn thee with virtues, and to govern thee sweetly. Pray thy Lord to suffer noe to rule in thee, but only himself.