In the same way 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 NIV
The Jewish religious leaders had been contending with Jesus for some time. And now they had won. Or at least they thought so (1 Cor. 2:8). And they took the opportunity to gloat and to mock Jesus as he hung on the cross. They believed he was powerless to come down off of the cross, and that his life had come to an end.
The priests and teacher who mocked Jesus clearly misunderstood what was happening there that day. Jesus did not have to go to the cross. And he did not have to stay there. Instead, it was to save us that he choose to go to, and stay on, the cross. Jesus went to the cross as a perfect and sinless lamb of God, sent to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). His life was not taken away from him. He willingly gave it up for us.
Because of my sin, I deserved death and eternal separation from God. But Jesus suffered and died on the cross in my place, paying the penalty for my sin. And not just for my sin, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Salvation is a gift, freely offered to all people. But not everyone will accept that gift. Many choose instead to reject it to their own loss and shame. Yet to all who do receive Christ and believe in his name, he gives the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Bear the news to every land, Climb the steeps and cross the waves; Onward!—’tis our Lord’s command; Jesus saves! Jesus saves! (We Have Heard the Joyful Sound by William James Kirkpatrick)
Praise God for his underserved gift of salvation to such an unworthy person as I.