Daily Reading: Leviticus 10, 11; Matthew 27:27-45
“He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” (Matthew 27:43, NASB95)
The chief priests mock Jesus’ death on the cross (Matt. 27:43-43). Their words serve to show how wrong they are in their assessment of Jesus.
- They ridicule Jesus by saying, “He saved others, He cannot save Himself” (Matt. 27:42). Jesus could have petitioned the Father and He would at once have sent twelve legions of angels to save Him (Matt. 26:53). Jesus told His disciples that these events were necessary to fulfill the Scriptures. It was not His inability to save Himself, or the power of His oppressors, but His submission to the will of God that kept Him on the cross.
- They sarcastically tell Jesus to come down from the cross and then they will believe in Him (Matt. 27:42). They are telling the Son of God what they need in order to believe. Jesus has done many miracles and they did not believe. What they don’t understand is that they need Jesus to give His life for them, and not just another miracle.
- The chief priests act as the persecutors of God’s servant, quoting Psalm 22:8. They scoff at His trust in God, which has now led Him to the cross. For them, the cross rules out the possibility that Jesus was following God’s will. However, in the resurrection, God vindicates Jesus’ trust in HIm and His declaration that He really is God’s Son.
The world doesn’t understand the significance of Jesus’ death. As Paul says, the cross is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Cor. 1:23). For the believer, it is the power and wisdom of God. By taking our place on the cross, the Son of God was able to take the sin of the whole world upon Himself, so that we might have life (Matt. 20:28; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:23). If you are following the will of God, the world will not understand you. Jesus explains that the person born of the Spirit is like the wind: people don’t know where it comes from or where it is going (Jn. 3:8). How do you know what the will of God is for your life? Are you submitted to God, no matter what it may cost you, and whether or not others understand you?