Jesus was mocked for the claims He made about Himself: that He was King, Savior, the Son of God who trusted in His Father completely. Those who mocked Him said that they would believe in His claims if He proved Himself by coming down from the Cross. They continued to mock Him as He hung there. What they failed to realize was that Jesus remained on the Cross not because He couldn’t come down from it, but because He wouldn’t. His death was the very act that would fulfill His purpose on earth. His willingness to be crucified was a testament to who He was and is: the King who left His Throne for His people; the Savior who would die to save the world; the Son of God who would exemplify obedience to the Father; the One who trusted in His Father’s Plan to bring about humanity’s redemption.
It is one thing to acknowledge that Jesus’ death has brought us salvation. It is quite another thing to understand that His life was not taken from Him, but was willingly laid down by Him for our sake. The horror of crucifixion paired with mockery by those He died for must have been unbearable to endure. But Jesus bore it fully and eagerly because of His great love for us.
Jesus chose to die. He died that we might live. His decision to lay down His life has laid before every person the hope of eternity with Him. Do we dismiss His identity and work, or do we receive what He has done for us? How are the choices we make confirming what we believe about Him?