DEATH AND RESURRECTION
Day One: That We May See And Believe
26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the King of the Jews.
27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. 28, 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him, those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
Today there are still many who “passed by” Jesus, they do not want to have anything to do with Christianity; many “priests and teachers of the law”, they are the self-righteous religious leaders, moralists, scientists, philosophers; and also those who are wicked and “crucified with him”, aren’t they also mocking the Christ when they say “Let this Jesus perform a miracle, that we may see and believe.” Aren’t we also like them in the past, mocking the Christians in the same way, challenging the power of God with our foolish pride?
O How merciful God is towards me! For He did not count the debt of my transgression on me but He counted it all on Jesus!
The notice of the charge was placed at the top of the cross over the head of the criminal. Jesus’ charge was written in three languages (John 19:20). The gospel of Matthew recorded the Aramaic wordings of the charge, the gospels of Mark and Luke recorded the Latin wordings, and the gospel of John Greek. This explains why the four gospels had slight variations in the description of the charge, but they all factually recorded the charge that was written and hung above the head of the Lord Jesus – the king of the jews.
But in the hearts of the Jews, the real charge was — he said he is the Son of God.
Whether he is the king of the Jews, or the Son of God, the identity of the Lord Jesus had become the charge against him! Isn’t this how it was in the parable of the tenants of the vineyard? The wicked tenants saw that the landlord had sent his own son, so they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.” (Matthew 21:38) In the same way, the chief priests, the Pharisees and all in the Sanhedrin said to one another, “What are we accomplishing? Here is this man performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him!” (John 11:47,48)
“Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”
Truly, the Son of God can come down from the cross! But Jesus knew that their hearts were just like the wicked tenants, even if they saw with their own eyes, they would not believe!
O Lord, the opposition that the world has against you has not diminished today. May the Lord increase my strength to keep God’s commands, not to be mesmerized nor captivated by the voices of this world, and most of all not to lose my purity out of lustful desire for the world!