Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Given the choice between freeing Barabbas, a notorious prisoner (Matthew 26:16), or Jesus—the multitudes chose Barabbas. Having been thus persuaded by the chief priests and elders, they called for His death. “Let Him be crucified!” they all said (Matthew 26:22). Pilate asked, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “LET HIM BE CRUCIFIED!” (Matthew 27:23). In a cataclysmic act of injustice the rebellious jury demanded the death of their creator and King.

A growing chorus of voices joined in the malignant and abusive song. The soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium where He was surrounded by an entire Roman battalion (six hundred soldiers when at full strength). They stripped Him, put a scarlet robe and crown of thorns on Him, and placed a reed in His right hand. “They kneeled down before Him and MOCKED Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ (Matthew 27:29). “And they spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. And after they MOCKED Him, they took His robe off and put His garments on Him, and led Him away to be crucified” (Matthew 27:31).

As He hung there on that cross, “those passing by were HURLING ABUSE at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matthew 27:39-40).

In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were MOCKING Him, and saying, ‘He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him” (Matthew 27:41).

“And the robbers also who had been crucified with Him were casting the SAME INSULT at Him” (Matthew 27:44).

In a great perversion of infinite proportion tongues made to praise offered nothing but scorn. Isaiah had a vision of the Lord on a throne, lofty and exalted, surrounded by angels calling out to one another “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:1-3). Isaiah was humbled and realized his shortcoming: “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). What Isaiah realized regarding his lips, the cross scene reiterated and revealed regarding us all. The rebellious heart of man was made clearly evident at the cross, when He, the creator of all things, was mocked by His created.

In response to blasphemy and insults, He “committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). “And while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering He uttered no threats” (1 Peter 2:23). “But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34). And through His death He provided a way for forgiveness. “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

Amongst the various aspects of Jesus’ healing are the heart and the tongue of a man. Rebel sinners sing the same mocking tune today. It is His name they curse (1 Corinthians 12:3), His cross they count as foolish (1 Corinthians 1:23), His coming they mock (2 Peter 3:3). But a marvelous transformation takes place when a person is born-again—the heinous rebellious tune is exchanged for a beautiful melody (Cf. 1 Corinthians 12:3).

There will come a day when all the multitudes will acknowledge that which they previously mocked: When “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). In Heaven, no mocking voices will be heard, only praise. A great and ever-broadening choir of voices will sing and ultimately declare: “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever” (Revelation 5:8-14).

By His wounds mocking tongues are healed in order that they should fulfill their God-given purpose—to praise and worship Him (Cf. Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:9). Both thieves were casting insults at Jesus (Matthew 27:44). But one had a God-given change of heart. Through eyes of faith he recognized the truth about Jesus (Luke 23:43). In trusting in Christ he changed his tune and was delivered from the mire to the choir. Praise the Lord!

Pastor Jerry

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