These religious people believed that if Jesus was truly God’s Son then He could never die – God would stop it. We Australians are the same today – we get upset with God over unjust suffering. God takes Jesus’ willing though unjust suffering and uses it to break the power of sin – death itself!
Here we have in a sense the most terrible even in history, and Matthew speeds through his description.
“And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.”
Matthew gives us, in this passage, a multitude of horrible decisions and cruelty all wrapped up in a few verses.
The soldiers, the robbers, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders. They all mocked Jesus.
And they thought they had beaten him, squashed this pretender to their own power-base.
C.S. Lewis writes the words of Aslan that are rather a fitting description of what is happening here.
As Aslan says, after he has come back to life, “It means that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”
* Gracious Father,
Thank You that though we see in this passage great brokenness and sin, it shows us Your plan – To save Your people.
Thank You for Jesus, without fault, who took our punishment, laid on His shoulders.
Thank You that You have saved us through Jesus.