Then they crucified him.
With him they crucified two revolutionaries, one on his right and one on his left. Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself by coming down from the cross." Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes, mocked him among themselves and said, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.
"Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe."
As I listened to Mark's account of the Passion being read at church last weekend, this part stood out from the rest. My eyes locked on the words as my heart knocked on the door of my memory. A few verses describing the mocking of Jesus as He hung on a cross for the same men laughing at Him. It hadn't seemed significant to me before as it did now in this moment.
Because when I heard it this time, I read something deeper and universal in their words.
While I would be horrified to mock Jesus in the way Mark describes, doubt is something a bit more familiar to me.
The Pharisees and those passing by doubted He could or would come down from the cross.
In my own life, how many times have I doubted not that He could work in my life...but that He would? How many times have I looked at heartache and struggle and storms...and wondered how He was going to get me through it?
Perhaps even His friends that stood beneath Him at the cross wondered why He stayed there. Did they wonder how He could perform such incredible miracles the past three years, only to have it end like this? Why wasn't He proving He was the Son of God, that He was the Messiah, the King?
We know the end of the story. We know that He was proving it by staying on the cross. That only a few days later He would rise victoriously over death. A conqueror. A king. A savior.
I'm so thankful, so overwhelmed, by His decision to stay on the cross. For us. That He ignored the mocking and taunting and challenges because He saw the bigger picture. Eternity hung in the balance.
So too in our lives we remember that He sees the bigger picture. When we wonder why He seems distant, why He's not changing our situation, why our efforts fall short of our goals...He is still there. Still working. Still completely in love with us and caring for us. Our vision is limited, but the resurrection is coming.
Wishing you all a beautiful and blessed celebration this weekend of the events of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
Because He lives,