Come Down from the Cross – Matthew 27:42

“He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He is the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

Matthew 27:42 CSB

This verse contains a pair of challenges made by the Jewish religious leaders to Jesus while he hung on the cross. In the first one they said, “he saved others, but he cannot save himself.” They were referring to saving in the physical sense, and indeed Jesus had restored sight, health, and even life to many. But if Jesus had saved himself from the cross, as they mockingly challenged him to, he would not have been able to save us from the effects of sin. Jesus death on the cross did save those who would believe in him, much more completely that just our physical bodies.

Their second challenge was that they would believe in him if he were to come down off the cross. I have often wondered what they would have done have he jumped down off the cross for a moment and then climbed back up to complete his mission. Somehow I doubt that it would have changed anything for them. They acknowledged his earlier miracles, and yet did not believe in him. Nor did they believe in him after his resurrection. They were not going to believe, regardless what he did. I think of this passage often when people tell me they would believe if God performed a mighty miracle for them. But would they? I doubt it.

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