The people passing by [Jesus on the cross] shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. "Ha! Look at you now!" they yelled at him. "You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!"
— Mark 15:29-30 NLT
If you listen carefully, behind the voice of the people shouting abuse at Jesus, you can hear the voice of Satan mocking God's Son. Notice how similar these words are to the words of Satan when he tempted Jesus at the beginning of his ministry:
Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
'He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.'"
Jesus had refused to use his power and identity as a means for self-protection. From the beginning of his ministry to the cross, he used his power and his identity as the Son of God to help and bless others. He would not be tortured, ridiculed, or mocked into an abuse of his power or of his position. He didn't come to save himself, but to give himself as a ransom. He allowed nothing to stop him from his mission. He had the power to preserve himself, but he loved you and me too much to come down from that cross because his work here was not finished!
Praise to you, O God, the great I AM, LORD of heaven and earth. Praise to you, King Jesus, for your gracious and sacrificial love. Praise to you, O Holy Spirit, for you are God's presence and power among us now — the gift sent by the Savior to remind me that I'm heaven bound. LORD, without your grace, your sacrifice, and your presence, I would be hopelessly lost! Amen.