Friday, 10 December 2010

Jesus, save yourself!

Beaten, crushed, blood dripping from his head, the one who had worked miracles and wonders in the open is now hanged naked on a cross. The Roman guards are dividing his clothes and all of Jerusalem watched this man scream "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?"- which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me". Despite his physical agony, they also hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! come down from the cross if you are the Son of God!" The chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders did not pass by the opportunity to mock him for they also insulted him saying, "He saved others, but He can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God'".

The mockers are enjoying their entertaining sneering and the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders are delighting in their victory and affirmation that this man is not the Saviour because he saved others but can't save himself. What kind of saviour is this they all must have thought but little did they know that they are speaking better than they know. For if they had read the scriptures, if they had known God, then they would have known that if Jesus was to save others He cannot save himself. If Jesus was to purchase redemption for his people and fulfil Isaiah 53, it was only through the cross. If they were present at the announcement of the angel to Joseph who told Joseph in a dream, "Joseph Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins". The mockers would have realised that this is the Saviour of the world.

But in irony they taunt him that he cannot save himself but that he saved others, they bid him to come down from the cross but their words are concerned with the things of men and not of God. Those who bid Jesus to save himself from the cross are in the camp of Satan for Jesus rebuked Peter when he tried to deter him from dying by saying to Peter, 'Get behind me Satan!' Just as the Muslim is greatly insulted that a prophet of God should die in such a way and the Jew disgusted at the thought of their Messiah being crucified, this indeed was the only way by which Jesus will save his people. While the Muslim may cringe and deny the cross and the Jew retract from such a Messiah, yet the Christian rejoices because it is precisely through Jesus staying on the cross in abject powerlessness that he achieves a tremendous salvation for all who believes in His name.

Jesus came to save his people from their sins and it is the reason why he is hanging on this damnable cross. Jesus knew this would happen to him for he spoke of his suffering many times and did he not inaugurate it at the Last supper when he uttered to his disciples, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins". Jesus willingly stayed on that cross, on that shameful cross because if He were to come down and listen to the demands of the mockers, no one would have been saved. Men would still be dead in their sins and trespasses and a fiery hell would await all humanity.

"He saved others but He can't save himself", was their sneer but their sneer was true. But it wasn't the nails or the presence of the Roman guards that held him captive but it was his unwavering disposition to His Father's will that held him on that cross for it was unthinkable for Him to disobey His loving Father. Jesus surrendered His life on the cross, not willing to save himself so that He could save you.

So, the man whose face is marred, who saved others did not give it a second thought to release himself from his damnable cross; for three days later He would rise from the dead; silencing his mockers and raising a new brand of believers who feared not but spoke of the Christ and His crucifixion. The cross is where the Saviour reigns from and if you are to be saved today from your sins, it is by the man who did not save Himself but has saved others.


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