|They Mocked Him|
MANY CHRISTIANS COMPLAIN that they do not feel God’s personal love. That is usually because they do not understand their sin, and what it deserves.
For example, Wisdom, a personification of the Son of God in Proverbs, tells us… “Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm…” (Proverbs 1:24–27).
In other words, those who refuse to listen to God, to obey him deserve to be ridiculed, mocked, and laughed at. This is a good description of Hell, and it is just. Anyone that refuses to listen to God has exalted themselves to a position of personal deity. He or she has made themselves Lord of their own lives. They are kings in their own kingdoms. No one is going to tell them what to do––especially God. Could anything be more laughable?
God is just. Before God can fellowship with us our rebellion must be atoned for. It must receive what it deserves. The sin of autonomy, self rule, the unwillingness to obey God, must receive justice. That is what happened the night before Jesus death. Representing each Believer, Jesus went before the Roman soldiers to receive the ridicule and mocking that each of us deserve. To satisfy divine justice, he took it in our place.
“And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him” (Mark 15:16–20).
The soldiers mocked Jesus for claiming to be King of the Jews. This claim was a great sin against Caesar’s authority. But Jesus was King of the Jews. He was also King of the Universe. As such he took the mocking and laughing that we deserve in order to reveal to us what his authority is really like. It uses its power and majesty for the good of its subjects. God’s love is our happiness at his expense. The only man who submitted to authority perfectly, bore the mocking and ridicule our rebellion deserves! The just suffered for the unjust. The One the angels joyfully worship stooped to take the derision that we deserve.
In Paul’s words, this is love that “surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:19). We come into contact with it through the knowledge of our sin and what it deserves.
Sometimes we feel this love. Sometimes we don’t. But it is always there. It never leaves or forsakes us. Meditate on it. Revel in it. Enjoy it. Preach it to yourself day and night. For truly, “God is love!”