#atozchallenge: INRI

I’m repurposing (that is, reusing) a post that I did for the 2015 Challenge, because it fits my theme and I’m lazy…

This past Sunday was Easter, the feast commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In order for Jesus to rise from the dead, he had to die, and he did so at the hands of the Romans three days earlier. Their preferred method of capital punishment was crucifixion, suspending the condemned from a cross until he died, then leaving him there as a warning to others who might be tempted to commit the same crime. The charge against the condemned man was written and posted above his head.

The cross is a symbol of Christianity, and when a figure of Jesus is fixed on the cross, it’s called a crucifix. Normally, a scroll or plaque with the initials INRI is fixed to the crucifix above Jesus’s head. The initials stand for Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Jvdaeorum, a Latin phrase meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

The Gospels tell the whole story of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection (the exact books, chapters and verses can be found here). Jesus was crucified by the Romans for sedition, allegedly for encouraging people not to pay taxes to Rome, for convincing two tax collectors to leave their posts, and for proclaiming that he was the King of the Jews. Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect who passed the sentence of death on him (after some prodding), wrote the above phrase in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew on the scroll that would be posted to Jesus’s cross. When asked if he should have written “he said he was King of the Jews,” Pilate answered “Quod scripsi, scripsi“: “What I have written, I have written.”

12 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: INRI

  1. From what little I know Pontious Pilate was known as a fair man who did not want to do this but the Senate etc… would not have stood for anything less


    1. From the way I read it, I think he didn’t want to kill Jesus. He might have thought Jesus was insane, but not seditious, and figured that thirty lashes might have appeased the crowd, but Caiaphas and the members of the Sanhedrin had them whipped up into a frenzy. Finally he realized that anything less than a death sentence would result in open revolt, so he signed the death warrant and washed his hands of the matter (literally).


  2. This was a really good one to reuse from years past. So relevant too with Easter just a few days ago. I like to think Pontius Pilate was inspired by perhaps the Holy Spirit to write those words that he wrote. Or else he just wanted to get back at the religious leaders for wanting to condemn and crucify who he perceived to be an innocent man.



    1. At least one of the Gospels talks about Pilate’s wife receiving a vision that he wasn’t to harm Jesus, so we know he was reluctant to sentence Jesus to death.


    1. No idea. He might have been recalled to Rome. He was an interesting character, just from reading the accounts of the Passion. You got the sense that he really didn’t want to crucify Jesus.


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