Mockery

The treatment Jesus received from the Jewish religious leaders and Roman government officials made a mockery of the fact that he was not only the Savior of the world, but the Creator of the universe. It says in Mark 14:65 that after Jesus was accused of blasphemy, some of the Jewish counsel “began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.” At one point, a crown of thorns was fastened to Jesus’ skull in order to mock him about the title the Roman governor, Pilate had assigned to him, “King of the Jews” (Mark 15:18). Matthew’s description of the incident stated:

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after they had mocked him, they took the robe off him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. (Matthew 27:27-31)

The two Greek words that are translated mocked in this passage of scripture, en (G1722)and paizo (paheed´-zo) (G3815), suggest that the Roman soldiers were bullying Jesus, treating him as if he were a child on a playground that they could easily take advantage of. An interesting thing to note about this situation was that Jesus had previously told Peter in the garden of Gethsemane to put away his sword and said, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53, ESV).

The apparent disadvantage Jesus had in dealing with the Roman soldiers was not because he lacked physical or spiritual resources. Jesus intentionally allowed himself to be mocked and tortured because it was necessary for him to do so in order to fulfill his role as Israel’s Messiah. In his final conversation with Jesus, Pilate indicated he was willing to release Jesus if he would cooperate with his interrogation (John 19:10). It was only because Jesus refused to answer his questions and the Jews insisted on his crucifixion that Pilate decided to wash his hands of the matter and do what the people wanted him to. According to John’s gospel, it was the day of Preparation of the Passover and it was about the sixth hour” when Pilate said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” (John 19:14). Then, they cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him…So he delivered him over to them to be crucified” (John 19:15-16).

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