Obedient to the end, Jesus dies on the cross, rejected and mocked. But his death ushers in another world.
Near the end of the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we see Jesus nailed to a cross…
A cross standing between two crucified robbers–a subtle insult by Pilate suggesting the king of the Jews was nothing more than a criminal.
The Mocked Messiah
Onlookers cursed Jesus. Spit his way. Even challenged him to crawl down from the cross. The two robbers hurled abuses at him.
Some Jews cried, “He saved others, but he can’t even save himself!”
Jesus on the cross is not a potent display of power. It doesn’t move anyone to declare, “You are the Christ.”
In fact, in the minds of Mary, John and Peter–in the minds of all his followers–it looks like nothing more than a scandal. A fraud. A huge, out-of-nowhere upset late in the quarter.
This can’t be happening. Not to our Messiah. But it is.
The mockery doesn’t stop. Someone cries, “Let Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!”
A final demand for a miracle by the unbelieving Jewish authorities. A miracle they claim would convince them once and for all that Jesus is indeed who he says he is: The Messiah.
Their claim is false. They would not believe. They refused to believe any miracle up to that point. And they would refuse to believe in the resurrection.
In the end, they satisfied the desires of their heart. At the expense of the suffering Christ. But, without knowing it, they established the glory and perfection of Jesus: He saved others but not himself.
What the Work of the Crucifixion Means
This is what we don’t see: The work occurring out of every one’s sight between Jesus and God. The work that darkened Jesus’ soul, broke his body but displayed his absolute perfection.
All the work between himself and God.
And morally rejected by the world there was no longer any room in it for his mercy towards it. He drank in his soul the cup of death and the judgment of sin. His work was complete.
Obedient to the end, he dies. But his death ushers in another world. A life where evil could never enter…and the new man will be perfectly at peace in the presence of God.
How Do You See the Suffering Messiah?
The man who sees the danger in mocking the suffering Messiah will with relentless intensity seek salvation.
The man who sees the forgiveness for sin and the gift of eternal life purchased for him by the suffering and death of the Son of God will rejoice endlessly.
And the man who sees the sins which crucified Christ will mourn with godly sorrow.
How do you see the suffering Christ?
**Part of The Messiah: Eleven Meditations from the Book of Mark series.**