Jesus is mocked
¹⁶The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort.
¹⁷They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; ¹⁸and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” ¹⁹They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him.
²⁰After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him.
²⁰And they led Him out to crucify Him.
²¹They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross. ²²Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.
²³They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it.
²⁴And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take.
²⁵It was the third hour when they crucified Him. ²⁶The inscription of the charge against Him read, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
²⁷They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. ²⁸[And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”]
²⁹Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, ³⁰save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”
³¹In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. ³²Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.
Jesus received all the mockery, all the hatred, and all the derision.
“All who see me mock me.” These words from Psalm 22:8 summarize what we are reading today.
The Roman soldiers play their game with Jesus. Just like that, as a diversion. They just need to take Jesus to Calvary (Mark 15:15). But they have heard that this condemned man wants to be king. Well, then He can have it His way.
Thus Jesus becomes the object of their rough mockery (Mark 15:16-20). For it is only ridiculous in their eyes that Jesus really should be king.
It has also been shameful to Jesus that a stranger should be pressed to carry his cross beam (Mark 15:21). Simon of Cyrene must be forced, because he is not a convict, is he? Not him, but Jesus is supposed to carry that cursed wood.
Or is it the other way around? In any case, he carries the cross beam only as far as Calvary, and then Jesus and not he is nailed to it.
The reproach does not end.
Soldiers divide his last and only possession before Jesus’ eyes (Mark 15:24). Naked He hangs there, nailed to the wood.
The passers-by shake their heads (Mark 15:29, 30). It is an expression of contempt (Psalm 22:8, 109:25. Compare Psalm 44:15).
We would stick out our tongues. They want to show how much they despise Jesus. Because He had such pretensions and now He hangs there, completely helpless. They are very disappointed in Him. They feel cheated.
The mockery of the chief priests and scribes is even more humiliating.
They do not address Jesus, but speak among themselves (Mark 15:31,32).
They must acknowledge that He has saved others, but that is nothing because He appears to be unable to save Himself.
Even from the side comes the taunt. Jesus is put together with the criminals (Mark 15:27, 28; Isaiah 53:12).
But even they distance themselves from Him (Mark 15:32). Luke tells that one of the fellow crucified still repented (Luke 23:40-43). But otherwise, Jesus is only buried under a flood of scorn. When He carries the judgment of God in our place, He too must undergo this heartbreaking mockery. Thus we were liberated.
Question for self-reflection
▪︎ What does 1 Peter 2:18-25 tell you in this regard?
▪︎ Thank the Lord for all His suffering for you!
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