The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. "He saved others," they scoffed, "but he can't save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.
— Matthew 27:41-44 NLT
Where do you go when everyone ... mocks you? ... hates you? ... ridicules you?
Jesus chose not to run or hide even though he could have called angels to his rescue (Matthew 26:53). He chose to bear our sins under a flood of mockery and insults with no place to hide as he hung on the cross. He hung there, exposed in agony before a sadistic and mocking mob while his enemies hurled insults at him.
Why? Why was this necessary? Why did he withhold his power? Why did God allow it to happen? Why have the precious birth stories of a Messiah from heaven lead to such agony and disgrace? Why? Three very clear reasons:
- He loves us and wants to save us;
- He is obedient to his Father's will;
- His blood is the only thing that can cover our sins;
In other words, he did it for you and me!
Father, I confess I find it hard to believe that in the incredible expanse of the universe with all the billions of stars and all the people on earth, you know me and care about me enough to have Jesus die for my sins. I know that at times my love and dedication have been inconsistent and my faithfulness has been spotty and full of holes. But Father, I confess that every time I look closely at the cross, at all Jesus had to face and all the grief and agony he bore, I am drawn again to love you more and want to serve you more faithfully. Please forgive me for my sin and create in me a new and right heart made clean and pure by your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.