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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 8 - Christ's Passion and Death (Mark 14:1 - 15:47)

16. The Crucified is Mocked (Mark 15:29-32)

MARK 15:29-32
29 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 Likewise, also the chief priests mocking among themselves with the scribes said, “He saved others. He can’t save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe him.” Those who were crucified with him insulted him.

It was customary for the high priest to visit criminals who were sentenced to death before their execution, to hear their confession and repentance before their death, and to grant them a general pardon on basis of the continuous sacrifices offered in the temple for their salvation from the coming wrath of God.

Jesus did not confess any sin on the cross. He did not shed tears of repentance, but prayed for his enemies, asking forgiveness for them, for they did not know what they did. The chief priests who heard his vicarious prayer considered it as horrible blasphemy, pride, and hardheartedness. So, they were filled with anger and contempt, and despised and mocked the Crucified.

The suffering of the body increased, yet the pricks of mockery wounded the heart. Satan tempted Jesus to save himself, even those who passed by and saw Jesus hanging on the cross shook their heads and repeated the charge that he would tear down the temple personally and build it back up in three days.

They did not remember his true words, nor did they understand that he meant by his body the temple of God, but they thought of the empty temple built with dead stones, which seemed to them a guarantee of God’s presence in the midst of the nation.

The devil used the blind mockers, and encouraged them to call out: “Come down from the cross! Save yourself! Destroy this reconciliation! Put an end to your substitutional sufferings for all men. Descend from the cross, and consume your enemies!” If he had done or wished to do that, Satan would have triumphed, and God would have lost mankind completely.

The leaders of the people, together with the representatives of the Jews found in the cries of the hardhearted, and defamed the redemptive mission of Jesus. He gave his life a ransom for many, walked night and day in towns and villages, and healed multitudes of people. The legal experts and scribes called his healings demonic procedures. Therefore they intended, through their mockery, to destroy the faith of his followers in his divine power; so they mocked the Crucified using his full titles, and called him the Christ anointed without power, and the King of Israel who had no army and people. They expected a great divine king who would deliver them from the Romans.

To them, Jesus of Nazareth appeared weak. He was hanged by Jewish transgressors and Roman authorities. It appeared to them that God was not with him, but his wrath had destroyed him.

In order to prove his power, they insisted, in the spirit of Satan, that he come down from the cross that their eyes might be opened to his Messiahship and divinity, and they might recognize his power, and believe in him after such a great miracle. They called themselves priests and experts in the Law, yet they were blind to the ministry of reconciliation, which took place amidst them, and did not observe that they were wicked instruments in the hands of the devil.

Jesus overcame the attack of these temptations. He did not come down from the cross, but completed our salvation. Then, how could some professors of religion say that Jesus was raised to heaven while another one was crucified in his place? The leaders of the Jews thought of this when the love and faithfulness of Jesus had broken them. To them Christ was in the likeness of a crucified one. In fact, he was crucified. He remained on the cross, and accomplished the reconciliation of the world to God.

Those who were hanged on both sides joined in cursing Jesus, for he was not prepared to save himself and then to bring them down from their crosses, enlist them in his army, and lead them altogether to victory. Yet one of them, the patient thief understood gradually, and saw that Jesus did not mock his mockers, but blessed those who cursed him, loved those who hated him, and prayed for his enemies. Then he understood clearly that Christ was not a liar, but was different from others. He was indeed a King, Lord, and the triumphant Son of God. He immediately recognized him, believed in him, and came into his kingdom.

The fanatic priests separated themselves from their King, and hurried to celebrate their great Passover on Saturday under the protection of their paschal lambs. They did not observe the true Lamb of God. His truth is still hidden from their eyes even today. In their blindness, they left their High Priest and Reconciler to God.

PRAYER: O heavenly Father, forgive all those who do not recognize Christ, or deny, that Christ gave himself as a sacrifice, for they do not know what they do. Open their eyes to the miracle of divine reconciliation, that they may recognize the great love of Christ, who accepted suffering and death in order to save others. He did not come down from the cross, but continued faithfully in his calling. Make us faithful in following you, that we may love our enemies, and serve them. Amen.


  1. Why did the leaders and the people ask Jesus to come down from the cross?


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