MOCKERY AND DERISION
Thank You, Jesus.
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.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectStill your heart and mind and prepare to read a horrifying account of “man’s inhumanity to man” (Robert Burns, 1759–1796).
We live in a violent and cruel world. We read in horror the way the Roman soldiers treat Jesus immediately prior to his crucifixion. Try not to skim over the bullying mockery, the taunting insults, and the revolting spitting and hitting that Jesus endured. The only moment of grace in the midst of this horror is when Simon, from North Africa, is ordered to carry Jesus’ crossbeam.
Through his trial and now through his mistreatment we see Jesus living out his own teaching. Glance through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7 and notice “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person… turn to them the other cheek… love your enemies.”
Walter Wangerin, Jr. (Reliving the Passion) helpfully asks the question “What has Jesus been doing since Gethsemane?” In these dark, seemingly endless hours Jesus has been drinking the cup of suffering that the Father would not take away from him. Not just taking the mocking insults, but taking on the whole weight of human sin and shame.
The sad irony is that the very insults hurled at him were a twist on truth: he saved others precisely because he didn’t save himself.
Read Isaiah 53 and worship your suffering Savior.
Thank You, Jesus, that You were despised and rejected for me. I praise You that You bore the punishment that brought us peace.
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