25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. [ 28 ] 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 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! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. Mark 15:25-32

If we take a step backwards and look at the whole scene from our vantage point, what do we see? We see three men impaled on poles like scarecrows in a wheat field. We see three bits of garbage strung up like  plastic bags blown against a barbed wire fence.

One of them, the one in the centre, has some sort of identifying pamphlet plastered on a rock behind Him, a mocking poster announcing to all the passers-by that this was His claim and his crime – KING OF THE JEWS. Some king, enthrone on a Roman stake! Who were His subjects? Two bits of garbage suspended next to Him and one of them a rebel anyway! That’s what we see with our natural eyes.

But what do we see in the spirit? We see a spotless, perfect lamb, pure as the driven snow, with the weight of the world’s sin pressing down on Him. We see sin with its stench and filth, plastered all over Him, and the people around and beneath Him, slinging more at Him. We see, not blood, but thick, foul-smelling slime dripping off His body. The smell is so bad that the Father turns His face away. The sight is so terrible that the Father blots out the light of the sun.

But, in spite of hell’s every effort, in spite of the jeering and mocking that filters through the physical pain and the filth of the world’s sin, His soul remains pure. Not a thought of reproach, not even a passing moment of retaliation or threat. He utters what is in His heart, “Father, forgive them.” Despite all they said and did,, they could not make it stick. It was all on the outside.

That’s the Jesus who took our sin away. When He emerged from the tomb, He was still spotless and pure. He left behind every bit of what He had carried on the cross. He was radiant with light, holiness, truly the king of the Jews. He proved His right to own the title and to reign as king.

Luella Campbell

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