2 minute read.
Daily Verse: “And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.” (Mark 15:20 ESV)
EMPAIZO (1702): “To play like a child, to sport, jest. Used only in the Synoptists, and in every instance, of the “mockery” of Christ.” [I]
Sporting jest hurts.
Making someone else the object of your play hurts them deeply. If you’ve ever endured mocking, you know the pain associated with it. The guards mocked Christ before they led him to the Cross. Jesus’ sufferings began before they nailed Him to the course beams.
Often, I think of the scene from Passion of the Christ when the guards taunt Jesus, playing with Him. Watching the Savior treated horrifically, grasping He endured the treatment on my behalf humbles me. We take for granted Christ’s sufferings because of the distance between then and now. Having heard the story so many times, we lose the gravity of the situation because of familiarity. The guards made Jesus the object of their sporting jest.
Remember the cost.
Taking time to put yourself in Jesus’ place, imagining how He felt standing helpless before the guards, enduring their jibes, hopefully, will make you appreciate Christ. God’s Son suffered so we could live. Our freedom does have a price, one Jesus paid.
Remembering Jesus’ sacrifice accomplishes two things. First, recognizing Christ’s unconditional love for you, warts and all, frees us from self-condemnation. Finding freedom from our sins gives us new life. And because of the love we receive, we can love others better.
Secondly, thinking about the guards making fun of Jesus makes me not want to become a guard, someone who mocks other people. Mocking others hurts them and destroys relationships, yet we do it. Jesus never made fun of people; He always loved. If we want to become more like Christ, we must avoid becoming a guard.
[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 86) Thomas Nelson