November 07, 2011
“Save Thyself and come down from the cross …
Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross … they … reviled Him.”
Mark 15: 30-32
We are all familiar with the temptation from Satan in the wilderness. Luke tells us that when Satan had ended all the temptation, he “departed for a season.” That suggests that his attacks were intermittent but relentless. Satan tempted Christ by telling Him to cast Himself down from the Temple; another temptation was to save Himself the sufferings of Calvary and he, Satan, could give Him the kingdoms without the cross. The devil was intent on hindering the great work God was about to accomplish.
But the scene has changed. It is no longer a wilderness scene but a hill outside Jerusalem’s gates. No longer is it the tempter in his undisguised and obvious person; now it involves priests, people, prisoners, passersby, and the soldiers at the foot of the cross. But the cry which ascended has the familiar hiss of the serpent linked with it. The cry to come down, to show Himself for Who He is, to prove to all that indeed, He is the Son of God; as King, to descend and to claim His rightful place. They hurled it in His face as mockery and taunts, but little did they realize the energizing power and the malice with which it was instigated. All the venom of Satan was contained in their words.
To natural thinking it was totally incongruous that a King should be on a tree and not a throne. To rational thinking, how could the Son of God possibly be impaled on a tree and God be silent? Logic demanded that the One so forsaken be deemed an impostor and worthy of death. But “when He was reviled He reviled not again … but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” The great mystery which transcends logic and reasoning is revealed by the Word of God to the humblest of believers: “Lo, I come to do Thy will.”
1. Can you think of other times during the life of the Lord Jesus Christ when Satan used men and even the disciples of the Lord Jesus to suggest similar temptations to Him? See John 7:3, 4 and Matthew 16:22 for some obvious starts.
2. Men questioned if He was a king. Did God bring anyone to His Son at Calvary to reaffirm that He indeed was a King?
3. “They that were crucified with Him, reviled Him” (v 32). Do you think this suggests that even the criminals with Him thought they were superior to Him?