Tim Keller | March 18, 2007
In the first half of the crucifixion account, there’s a theme. That theme is the fact that Jesus is mocked, insulted, jeered at, laughed at, humiliated, and shamed.
The soldiers are jeering at him, spitting on him. He is stripped naked and crucified naked. The passersby are insulting him. The religious leaders are mocking him. And at the very end, even the thieves on the crosses beside him are making fun of him, insulting him.
Jesus didn’t only get killed on the cross—he also got shamed and humiliated. This is important because it teaches us three things: 1) the mocking tells us about our own hearts, 2) the mocking reveals Jesus’ heart, and 3) if we let it, the mocking can change our hearts so ours become like his.
In Mark’s Gospel, we get a clear picture of Jesus’ crucifixion, where he was laughed at, insulted, and humiliated. Jesus’ suffering wasn’t just about dying; it also involved deep shame. This powerful story helps us see what our hearts are like, shows Jesus’ mission, and can even help us change and become better people.
1. The laughing at Jesus shows us what we’re like
People laughed at Jesus because they didn’t want to believe he was the King and Savior, the one replacing the temple. Some people studying the New Testament even today laugh at Jesus because they don’t want to fully believe in who he is. They might have their own ideas about life or want to control everything themselves. Even if we have had bad experiences, we need to remember that God often works through times of weakness and trouble.
2. The laughing at Jesus shows us what he’s like
Jesus chose to stay on the cross even when people were laughing at him. This shows us how great he really is. He’s not like the usual big, powerful heroes in stories. His death on the cross was not just about physical pain but also about being shamed by society. He willingly took all this on so that we could experience God’s love, approval, and glory forever. Understanding how deep this shame was helps us get why Christianity is so important.
3. The laughing at Jesus can help us become more like him
When we go through tough times, we can become hard and bitter. But Saint Paul teaches us that our weaknesses can actually make us stronger. Just like Jesus’ suffering brought power into the world, our own struggles can change us for the better if we don’t get bitter about them. Even if people don’t understand us or treat us badly, we can find strength in Jesus’ example. We can learn to love people even when they get things wrong and let our tough times make us stronger and more resilient.
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