MOCKED AND CRUCIFIED
Gracious Father, you love me unconditionally and your heart overflows with forgiveness. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Read MATTHEW 27:27–44
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThere are many different ways that bullying is taking place today. Consider how today’s young people, so connected online, are being impacted.
No one could resist poking fun at Jesus that day. Everyone was doing it. If you have ever been bullied (or in the past have bullied someone else), you might recognize the urge to belittle a victim who cannot defend themselves.
The first to mock Jesus was the highly respectable Sanhedrin Jewish Council the night before. They spat in his face, struck, slapped and taunted him (26:67,68). Then there were Pilate’s men, Gentile soldiers from different nations. They gave ‘king’ Jesus a mock crown, a fancy-dress imperial robe and a rod of authority with which they beat him. They spat on him and paid fake homage to him (vs 28–30). The Roman governor himself was perhaps amused to label Jesus as the nation’s king (v 37).
Casual passers-by joined in the mockery (vs 39,40), and even the chief priests and other leaders descended into gratuitous insult (vs 41–43). Did they realize that their clever ‘put-downs’ were predicted in Scripture, like so much else that day (e.g., Psalm 22:7,8,17,18)? Jesus’ fellow criminals, crucified on either side of him, also piled abuse on him (v 44).
I once spent Lent and Easter abroad and on my own. I was perfectly happy, but alone. What spoke to me most that year was the cruelty in the taunts directed at the Lord Jesus, all of which he endured on his own.
When you see people bullying or making fun of someone, do you find yourself tending to side with the victim or the mockers? Remember Jesus.
I thank you Lord, with repentant heart, that Jesus, without spot or blemish, accepted sin’s sting and bore it for my sake.
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