Let Him Come Down from the Cross
This is Day 36 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
"Let him come down now from the cross and we will believe in him." (Matthew 27:42).
After Jesus was nailed to the cross by the Roman soldiers, the chief priests, scribes and elders mocked Him and taunted Him. Many of these men had witnessed His miracles or if they had not, had heard the testimony of so many who had. And those who testified on behalf of Jesus had done so at great risk to themselves making their testimony all the more believable.
So Jesus had given them plenty of signs to believe in Him. But they kept demanding more. Jesus would perform miracle after miracle and the priests and scribes would say "show us a sign," as if He had not already done so time and again. As He suffered hanging on the cross the chief priests, scribes and elders proclaimed that if He came down from the cross they would believe in Him. Yes, this time they would believe.
Of course, even if Jesus had come down from the cross they would not have believed. In fact they would have been less likely to believe. Why? Because of what believing would have meant. They would have to admit they had handed God's Messiah over to the Roman authorities to be crucified. Could there be a worse sin than this? Even if Jesus had forgiven them, the mob would have torn them apart. No, they could not believe, because it would have condemned them. Instead they would have likely accused Him of getting His power from the devil as they had before. (Matthew 9:34).
It is the same for us. We don't want to admit that Jesus is right, because that would require admitting we are wrong. If Jesus is God then we cannot be. If Jesus is holy then we are wicked. But we don't want to be wicked. We want to be good. We don't like someone telling us that the things we like to do are evil. We don't want to be told that refusing to forgive someone or looking at pretty women on the beach is sinful. We don't want someone to point out our greed, jealousy, and hypocrisy. We don't want to feel obligated to read the Bible or pray when we'd rather play golf, fish, or watch football. We want to be able to think we are better than others, and even prove it with our wealth and success without feeling guilty. And we certainly do not want to admit that things we find morally acceptable--even laudable--God finds reprehensible.
We keep doubting and doubting and refusing to believe completely, because let's face it, very few of us reading this post (myself included) would live as we live if we did not have doubt. A simple examination of our fears, worries, and how we spend our time and money will prove that true.
Lord, help my unbelief. Amen
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Christian fantasy novel Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity. He lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and three wonderful boys.