If you live long enough on earth you will be mocked. Prideful humans enjoy putting someone else down in order to lift themselves up in the eyes of the people in their circle of influence. New people who come into their circle must be proven to be up to their standards and be just like them or they are quickly mocked and torn down to size, a size lower than the mockers.
We learn skills of mocking on the playground. We play “king of the hill” where only the strong and pushy remain on top. When wisdom and maturity is slow to grow inside individuals, we carry this bully attitude into our adult life. Bullies love to mock and are gifted at sarcastically bringing others who do not follow them down to their knees…or they nail them to a cross of shame and humility.
Our passage of mocking leads to the final humiliation of our Lord. The soldiers are allowed to have their way with Jesus, to mock Him with taunts about who He is in Truth. Jesus said nothing and took the pain of these taunts as well as the beatings by the whips of leather and spikes cutting into his skin. Scripture tells us he was unrecognizable by the time this mocking and beating subsided long enough so they could lead him to his final destination—the cross.
The Roman soldiers took great pride in their work of nailing humans to a cross in ways that held them there for all passers by to see, to mock and jeer with hate, until they died hours later. To the Romans, this humiliation was a deterrent to crime and revolutions against the government.
To God, it was the act of paying the debt of sin for all the world for whom He loved. To Jesus, Son of God, who could have called thousands upon thousands of angels to rescue Him, it was an act of sacrificial love for you and for me. Jesus laid down his life for our lives. He died in our place. He took the pain of our punishment, the mocking that hurt from the inside out, the beatings that hurt from the outside in so we could be set free from the entanglement and debt of sin. Once and for all, Jesus died and rose again to save us.
The mocking still takes place today. Jesus told us it would. “And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22) As a child of God, follower of Jesus, I tire of the mocking. However, on days when I find myself in a place where I am not mocked, I may be the one doing the mocking! We have to check our pride often to make sure we are not joining in the mocking of others in the Body of Christ. When we mock others, Jesus said we are mocking Him. Whatever we do to the least of these, we do to Him! Our love for Him is based on our love for others!
Oh, how careful and focused we must be to stay so close to Jesus that we are mocked for our faith in Him. I would rather be accused and mocked for following Christ than not be mocked or accused because of following anything that comes along. My desire is to follow Jesus, to know Him, to share in His sufferings (mocking) like the apostle Paul who changed his political extremist life of mocking and killing Believers to becoming a powerful, God-led follower of Jesus Christ. Read the powerful testimony of Saul to Paul who obtained a new name and a new direction for his life…
“Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. ‘Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’” Philippians 3:7-14, NIV
PAUSE TO PRAY…
Am I mocked for my faith in Jesus? Or am I doing the mocking?
Love God. Love Others like He loves us.
Matthew—God’s Word Fulfilled
Matthew 27:27-44, NLT
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27 Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. 29 They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. 31 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
32 Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. 33 And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). 34 The soldiers gave Jesus wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.
35 After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. 36 Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. 37 A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
39 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. 40 “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.
The extreme mocking you took for truly being Who you said you were touch my soul this morning. The pain you took in my place overwhelms me. I have no other words but thank you. Thank you, God for sending your Son. Thank you, Jesus for dying for my sin and rising again with hope for our resurrection someday to be with you forever. Thank you, Holy Spirit for speaking to my soul today. Guide me. Lead me. Mold and shape me to be before doing anything. Help me to take the mocking gracefully with silence as you did. Your silence spoke volumes.
In Jesus Name, Amen