A hand-written sign is not meant to last long – it only for a fleeting temporary event that will soon be gone like the event of which it speaks. The person who actually put the letters to a discarded plank of wood and tacked it to the cross of Jesus had no idea that what he was labeling was far from a passing event. It was penned with as much care as a “yard sale” sign stuck on a utility pole, but it was placed over the head of one who cared enough to be sacrificed on our behalf.
The inscription in full was: This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews. The Jews objected and demanded the sign be edited to include “he said, I am king of the Jews. (John 19:21-23), they were OK with it being a claim of a rebel but they did not what it to be a straight-forward declarative statement. Pilate caused it to be written in way to show contempt for the Jewish authorities – this was his view of a king that would come from the Jews a weak and dying would-be ruler. These were not words the Romans believed– but they were absolutely true! Jesus was and is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel (cf. Luke 1:32-33) but is also King of Kings (I Tim. 6:15). These truths and Pilate’s words though written in unbelief attest to Christ’s sovereignty and His divinity.
The hand-written sign was to mark a moment but it testified to a movement. Something far greater was happening, something that would alter the destiny of all who believe in the King of the Jews.
Since He is our King and we are subjects in His kingdom, our response should be obedience — complete, unquestioning obedience. God desires and deserves our worship but worship means more than offering our words to Him; He desires compliance with His will, in this is He pleased (I Sam. 15:22).