“Save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Mark 15:30 (NKJV)
I sat in church recently as the pastor delivered a message about the crucifixion. I am an “irony girl,” so the Pharisees’ taunting words to our Savior captured my imagination. Jesus could have done it.
He could have come down from the cross, dooming us to a Godless eternity. He could even have cursed us with His dying breath. Instead, the holy Lamb of God endured the pain, shame, and horror of becoming sin for us. His reply was unexpected.
“Father, forgive them.”
Those words alone should have pierced their hearts with conviction, but it didn’t. Jesus meant it, though. What better way could He have chosen to prove He was God’s Son? He is love, and love dictated His response.
The Pharisees missed the point. They told Jesus to save Himself, but Christ came to save them. He fulfilled God’s law and became the only one qualified to save men. Jesus took our sin upon His own body and accepted the wrath of His Father in our stead. God accepted that sacrifice, proved when He raised Christ from the dead. The walls that separated us from our Creator crumbled, giving us access to Him once again.
How ironic! “Save yourself?” “Come down from the cross?” Not a chance. In my mind, I imagine Jesus gritting bloody teeth to smile through the pain. Love hurts.
Thank You, Jesus, for the great love You have for us, and for the lengths You went in order to have fellowship with us once again. We desire to express the same unconditional, self-sacrificing love for one another.
© 2010 Katherine A. Fuller