March 20, 2014

Mocked and Mocked Again

Mark 14:65; 15:16-32

The chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!”
—Mark 15:31


Being mocked is one of the most devastating of human expe-riences. Sneers and insults cut deep. Mockery threatens our deepest emotional needs: to be loved, protected, and cared for.

Jesus was mocked several times during his trial and crucifixion: Jewish guards, Roman soldiers, Jewish religious leaders, and people who passed by the cross—all took their turns. In all of this, Jesus experienced the harsh reality of rejection with all its rudeness.

Each act of ridicule, however, also revealed Jesus’ true identity. The purple robe and crown of thorns depicted the King who was willing to sacrifice himself for his people. The spitting and striking blows proved that Isaiah 50:6 spoke the truth about the servant of the Lord: “I offered my back to those who beat me… . I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” The sign above Jesus’ head on the cross, “The King of the Jews,” declared a blessed truth. Ironically, the only way for Jesus to save his people was to stay on the cross instead of coming down and saving himself.

Within this greatest of all rejections comes a promise. Because Christ was rejected, we will never be rejected. “By his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). What a sacrifice!

We avoid mockery at all costs, but you, O Lord, bore every tirade of human disgrace for our salvation. Thank you for taking the sting out of mockery. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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