(36) And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, (37) And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. (38) And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.Luke 23:35-38
Here we see the roman soldiers statement. If He is the king, prove it by saving Himself.
The soldiers said it, too.
They saw the fact that He would not come down as proof that He was not the Christ. They thought that because He was suffering and dying that it meant He was not the King of the Jews. The Romans were a political people who were attracted to power. In their minds Kings should be on thrones, and not on crosses. This meant that He was not the promised Messiah. He was not the King. If he was the Messiah that would institute a kingdom to which He would rule and reign, how could He be killed on a cross?
What they were taking as proof that He was not the Messiah was actually the ultimate proof that He was. He was dying for them.
Isaiah had made this prediction about the Messiah.
(3) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
(4) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
(5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
(6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.Isaiah 53:3-6
This scene was predicted by King David in Psalm 22.
(6) But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
(7) All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
(8) He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.Psalms 22:6-8
(18) They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.Psalms 22:18
(27) All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
(28) For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.
(29) All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
(30) A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
(31) They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.Psalms 22:27-31
Their mocking of Jesus proved who He was while they doubted that exact fact.
Their declaration that He saved others was exactly what He was doing in that moment. He did not save Himself precisely because He was dying to save others.
(32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?Romans 8:32
There is a chorus that says this truth:
“I’m forgiven, because You were foraken.
I’m accepted. You were condemned.
I’m alive and well. Your Spirt lives within me
because You died and rose again.
Amazing love! How can it be that You my king, would die for me?
Amazing love! I know it’s true. It’s my joy to honor You in all I do. I honor You!”Billy J. Foote
Jesus died to forgive us and save us. The least we can do is live for Him and tell others about Him.