Yesterday at church for the corporate Scripture reading our pastor Tim Senn read the crucifixion account from Mark 15. As he read, "So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, 'He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe'" (21-22), my mind instantly raced to the resurrection. The chief priests and the scribes were in total rejection of Christ. Jesus did not come down from the cross. Praise the Lord! But he did give them greater proof that they saw yet they rejected him still. Matthew's account of the resurrection tells us:
"While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, 'Tell people, His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep. And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.' So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day" (Matthew 28:11-15)
This is amazing! First the chief priests and scribes rile up the crowd to shout for Jesus' execution. Then at the crucifixion we see them coming up to Jesus while he is suspended on the cross mocking him. Jesus does not buy into their lie because he knows their hearts. Then three days later Jesus resurrects himself from the dead. The soldiers appointed by the chief priests are eyewitnesses of Jesus walking out of the tomb. They tremble and fear and go report to the chief priests what they have seen. Now the chief priests must believe. This was a greater miracle than getting down from the cross. All they wanted to see was a miracle so they could believe that Jesus was exactly who he claimed to be. But rather than bow in reverence to the King of kings they harden their hearts doing whatever they can to hide the story.
Many people in our day and age have this idea that if they only saw the miracles they would believe in the Christ. Don't buy into that lie. The guards were right there when the stone was rolled away and Jesus walked out of the tomb yet they rejected Jesus. The chief priests and scribes mocked for a sign and then the greatest sign of Christ's divinity took place yet they rejected Christ. Rather than ask for a sign beg that God would be gracious to you a sinner and cleanse you from your sin. Christ's death brought forgiveness and his resurrection brought his children the conquering power over sin. Ask him to open your eyes so that you may see him as all the glorious King and Lord. He is gracious and will not turn away from those who repent of their sin and trust in him alone.
Grace upon grace,