v 31. The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself!
Could He have saved Himself? you might ask. Could He have miraculously come down from the cross and demonstrated His power for all to see? Did He not have the power to burn up the Roman soldiers and Jewish priests with lightning and show to the world that He was God? Yes – He did have the power, but He chose to submit to the Father’s will in order to rescue sinners.
He, of all men, was not powerless! Was not the majesty of His power shown by the fact that He did none of the things that ordinary human power might have tried to do. Would it not have been easier to come down from the cross and shatter the apparent triumph of the Jewish hierarchy? His power was demonstrated in that He chose to remain on the cross where He endured the humiliation and pain of it all carrying the burden of the world’s sin. How little the scornful Jews understood what was going on in front of their very eyes!
Hasn’t it always been the same when sceptics look at the cross? That was certainly the case in Corinth as Paul preached there, he wrote ‘It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.‘
So, as the song writer said ‘He laid aside His majesty, gave up everything for me..‘ and that meant voluntarily laying aside His right to ask His Father for complete protection. In Matthew 26 we find Jesus saying to His disciples in the garden of Gethsemane ‘Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousandsof angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?” ‘ Yes, Jesus had the power to save Himself from the agony of the cross, but He chose not to. For your sake, and mine, at the cross He accepted the will of the Father in order to rescue us from the penalty our sin deserved.