The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. Mark 15:16-20
I have often considered the physical pain Jesus must have gone through and tried (in vain I am sure) to comprehend the horror of such a torturous death. But today as I read of the crucifixion I was struck by the mockery Jesus endured.
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” Mark 15:29-30
No one likes to be mocked. I know I don’t. Especially when we know that those making fun of us are wrong. We have this innate desire to be seen as right, as valuable, as anything but silly or foolish. And when people mock it is often to place us in these categories.
It’s not that I can’t understand how Jesus continued to go through with dying for our sins while people were hurling insults at him. Obviously Jesus knew that what he was doing was for the greater good and was in obedience to the Father. No amount of teasing or ridicule would derail him from following the Father. What struck me was his willingness to endure it without saying a word in his own defense.
In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. Mark 15:31-32
It is easy for me to comprehend Jesus’ willingness to follow through in spite of the opinion or perception of others. But it takes great humility to endure without even speaking a word of defense or a scathing comment to his mockers about their inability to grasp what he was doing. And yet he does not. Jesus simply endures in obedience for our salvation.
Without question we have been bought with a great and wonderful price.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7