Ashamed I hear my mocking voice

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Stuart Townend’s hymn “How deep the Father’s Love for us” says:

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

The aim of Pilate’s execution of Jesus was not just to punish him or to remove him but to humiliate and destroy him.  So, before death there was mockery.  The mockery of the Jewish King was intended to humiliate the Jewish people too but the people are also enticed or compelled into joining in the mockery not realising that they are in effect laughing at themselves.

Read Mark 15:16-20

The soldiers take Jesus away from Pilate, they beat him and mock him.  The mockery consists of a cruel, mock coronation.  Jesus is going to be sent out to die as a king, dressed in purple and wearing a crown. The crown of course is designed to harm and hurt him.   He will be wounded and punished by his own crown. 

In the face of all of this, Jesus remains silent.  Other writers draw upon the imagery of Isaiah 53 comparing him to a sheep going in to the slaughterhouse, silently and obediently. 

Stuart Townend draws out the first challenge for us.  We would have been with the mockers and scoffers.  Our sin meant that we belonged with those opposed to Jesus.  Yet, Jesus returns our mockery with underserved kindness and grace.  Coming to Christ for forgiveness must include repentance because we have mocked him with our lives when we have sought to live as though he is not the true king.

We are reminded too that if he was mocked then, then he will be mocked today. There does seem to be in our culture a readiness to mock Jesus and the Gospel that isn’t there when it comes to other religions. 

Finally, if Jesus was hated and mocked then we will be too. He made that clear.  This doesn’t sit well with our pride.  It is one thing to be willing to be a martyr, another to be a laughingstock.  Are we ready to endure mockery and insults for the one who endured ours for us?

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