Matthew 27:38-44 / Mark 15:27-32 / Luke 23:35-38…
The mental and spiritual suffering that Jesus Christ endured while He was on the cross was immense and intense. The rejection of Jesus was demonically inspired, and was in direct fulfillment of Scripture. Imagine the temptation to react as they all taunt Him.
The taunt is one of Satan’s sharpest arrows; and he uses people as the provoking point. When the passersby taunt Jesus, they tempt Him with the very words that Satan had tempted Him with (Matthew 4:3, 6). Yet the instruments of the devil only proved that Jesus was telling the truth when He said that the devil had no claim on Him, no power over Him (John 14:30).
It is ironic that as they insulted Jesus they admitted that He saved others, and they recognized that Jesus trusted in God. Ironically, they were condemning themselves. By saying that Jesus was a righteous man, they admit their participation in this wrongful murder. Even as these people question who He is, they’re actually proving who He is. They prove that He is the Messiah by fulfilling Scripture (Psalm 22:7-8).
Jesus could have come down from the cross and showed those unbelievers that He was indeed the Son of God. It wasn’t the nails that held Him on the cross, but His will. The desire to do His Father’s will. In suffering their condemnation, they were condemning themselves, but Jesus was determined to do what was necessary to free us from sin’s eternal condemnation.
People want a Savior who comes down to them on their own terms. But we don’t need a Savior who comes down from the cross, but a Savior who ascends the cross. And one who comes up from the grave. Not one who would save Himself, but one who desires to save us sinners.
Imagine Jesus when temptation taunts you, and realize He triumphed over your temptations (Romans 8:1 / Colossians 2:13-15).