November 24, 2019
(Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe)
As Jesus (our King) hung on His cross of death, Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.” Lk_23:35-43
A few weeks ago I was asked by the parent of one of our School children what the INRI meant above the crucifix. I explained that it meant Jesus, King of the Jews in one of those ancient languages of His time. I remembered that the I represented Jesus because those languages, didn’t have a J. And I also remembered that the R stood for Rex which means King. So it makes sense that the other I would stand for Jews or Israel. but I couldn’t quite pop off the meaning of the N. So, thanks be to God for Google, we quickly found an answer to that one too.
The N would be the word for Nazorean. Jesus the Nazorean, King of the Jews. The more definitive answer comes from John’s Gospel, Jn 19:19 where it says, Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” Jn_19:19 It continues, Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Jn_19:20 Here’s the Latin version: (Latin: Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum).
Interestingly there is actually an inscribed wooden plaque called the “Titulus Crucis” that is considered an actual or a replica of the original, located in a Church in Rome, The Basilica of Saint Croce of Gerusalemme.
And thanks be to God for our Historians!
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