It is easy to pass by someone and not realize who they are. You don’t recognize them from a photo or something. Their persona doesn’t strike you as a famous person or whatever. But if they tell you they are someone you don’t know they are, will you believe them? I met a famous actor many years ago who did not look like he did many years before and I have to tell you, it took me several minutes of staring to see it. He was bald and fat and did not look anything like he did before. I could have easily mocked him, but I didn’t. I think mostly because I was in shock.
As I read over Luke 23 at the different people who were present at the crucifixion of Christ, I can’t help but wonder what their motives were. I get the passersby. They just happened to be there and were curious, although a grim curiosity. But what about the others?
The Chief Priests, Scribes and Elders were present mostly because they wanted to win their arguments. Whether or not they believed Jesus to be the Son of God or not shouldn’t have mattered. He was a man who had done nothing wrong. His only crime was that He disagreed with the “religious right”? And they had the audacity to mock Him on top of that? Why did they have to stand and watch Him die? Oh yea, they expected Him to come down from the cross. Such hypocrites!
Now the two Criminals. Well, one of them. They were close enough to talk (this is a naive concept since talking was extremely difficult to do considering how much stress the body is in, in that position) to Jesus or at least to see Him in a way that none of the others could. One thief did eventually “get it” and repent. They were closer than anyone else and should have both been able to glean the awesomeness of Christ’s deity had the one not been so blind.
Are you one of the Passersby who just so happens to be visiting the area that very weekend when the event is happening and you find yourself in the middle of the excitement so you get involved without knowing or caring about what is going on?
Are you one of the Denominations, Church Members, or Bible Students who disagrees with Jesus and sneers at Him because He challenges you?
Are you one of the Criminals who hung next to Jesus on the cross? They too joined in on the mockery at first, although one began to see something in Christ that all the others missed.
Christ’s death fulfilled an eternal purpose. We can analyze the events that lead up to and away from His death but the fact still remains…God has a plan. Everything happens for a reason and our understanding of it isn’t a requirement.
Stay safe and God bless.