My pride would like to tell you I’ve never before mocked Jesus. Me?! Mock the Savior of the world? Ha. I (arrogantly) scoff at such a statement.
But this morning as I read Matthew 27, I wept for that very reason.
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the crucifixion as brutal as it was this morning, and yet I know it had to have been so much worse than the images my mind can imagine. But what got me the most was not the physical paint but the mocking from the men in the crowd to the sinless One.
Listen to their snarky words and their jeers. Hear them sarcastically shout “prove yourself” in derisive tones reserved for animals and the laughs that surely accompanied it.
“Those who passed by derided Him, wagging their heads and saying,“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him, saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He trusts in God; let God deliver Him now, if He desires Him. For He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”” (Matthew 27:39-43)
I saw myself in the crowd mocking Him, yelling for Him to come down from the cross and promising to believe in Him if He would do so. But then I stopped speaking and just looked at Him.
I saw the way He held His composure, which angered the mockers even more. Their words became more hostile.
Then, as I watched His face, His eyes flickered up and met mine and a faint smile was sent my way.
Never have I seen so much compassion and pity in one look.
And then I realized it. He was dying for the very ones who were hurling ridicule at Him.
“He saved others, He cannot save Himself,” was shouted again from the crowd.
I can almost imagine Jesus hearing those words and thinking to Himself, “If only you knew that saving people is the reason I cannot save Myself.”
In that look He flashed to me, I was brought to my knees and rocked to my core. I wept. He didn’t revile back, He didn’t curse us who mocked Him, He didn’t even defend Himself.
He just had pity.
He died so those who mocked Him might have life.
He died so those blinded by morality and superiority might be saved from their “good” deeds.
He died so we may be reconciled to God the Father who abandoned His perfect Son to accept us.
He endured the mocking, the pain of crucifixion and the excruciating weight of sin in His innocent self so that we may be justified.
Three days later God proved to the world that His Son was who He claimed to be.
And the empty tomb still declares it.
Mockers can be saved.
Sinners can be forgiven.
Dead people can be made alive.
Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free //
For God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me.