Our Worship – Lesson 23 – IRNI

What is the symbol INRI?

The letters are the first letters of the Latin accusation written and placed over Jesus when He was crucified.  They were written in Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.  The Latin is “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum” which means “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.”

Why do we have this symbol in our congregations?

Jesus was crucified for claiming to be a king.  This was meant as a mockery, but is the truth.  Jesus is our King, who fought sin and Satan by being crucified for our sins.  He wore a crown of thorns, our crown of thorns, that He might give us the crown of life (Revelation 2:10)

What does the Bible say about this symbol?

The Gospels record that this accusation was placed over His head by Pontius Pilate.  When asked by the leaders of the Jews to change it to “He claimed to be the king of the Jews”, Pilate refused.


You may want to sing the following hymns from Lutheran Service Book: 425, 442, 444, 452, 525, 527, 548, 549

Object Lesson

Show a picture of Jesus crucified with the INRI above His head and explain what the letters mean and what it means that He is our king who won the victory for us over sin and death.


O bringer of salvation, who wondrously hast wrought Thyself the revelation of love beyond all thought, We worship Thee, we bless Thee, to Thee, O Christ, we sing; we praise thee and confess thee, our gracious Lord and King.  Amen.