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. (Mark 15:32)
Even though the story of Jesus’ crucifixion is familiar, it still has the capacity to shock. The events of chapter 15 demonstrate the sinful condition of humankind. The crowd that welcome Jesus with the cry ‘Hosanna’, days later bay for his blood. The religious leaders have finally got their man. Pilate played to the crowd. And the disciples had all but disappeared like vapour on the wind. All that’s left is a crucified and abandoned king. The religious leaders taunted him to climb down from the cross, as he could have. Instead, he willingly embraced its shame. All for love.
Like Pilate, I can play to the crowd. Like the crowd, I can be fickle. Like the religious leaders, I can be quick to judge. Like the disciples, I can go missing when it counts. Thank God my relationship with God does not depend on the extent of my faith, but the strength of God’s faithfulness.
Lord Jesus, thank you that in the face of incredible opposition you embraced the shame of the cross that I met be set free from mine, you took on a crown of thorns that I might be crowned with glory and that you cried out to the Father in the depths of your isolation that I might cry out to him in adoration. You are my King! Amen.