"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip,
they shake the head." --Psalm 22:7
Mockery was a great ingredient in our
Lord's woe. Judas mocked Him in the garden; the chief priests and scribes
laughed Him to scorn; Herod set Him at nought; the servants and the soldiers
jeered at Him, and brutally insulted Him; Pilate and his guards ridiculed His
royalty; and on the tree all sorts of horrid jests and hideous taunts were
hurled at Him. Ridicule is always hard to bear, but when we are in intense pain
it is so heartless, so cruel, that it cuts us to the quick. Imagine the Saviour
crucified, racked with anguish far beyond all mortal guess, and then picture
that motley multitude, all wagging their heads or thrusting out the lip in
bitterest contempt of one poor suffering victim! Surely there must have been
something more in the crucified One than they could see, or else such a great
and mingled crowd would not unanimously have honoured Him with such contempt.
Was it not evil confessing, in the very moment of its greatest apparent
triumph, that after all it could do no more than mock at that victorious
goodness which was then reigning on the cross? O Jesus, "despised and
rejected of men," how couldst Thou die for men who treated Thee so ill?
Herein is love amazing, love divine, yea, love beyond degree. We, too, have
despised Thee in the days of our unregeneracy, and even since our new birth we
have set the world on high in our hearts, and yet Thou bleedest to heal our
wounds, and diest to give us life. O that we could set Thee on a glorious high
throne in all men's hearts! We would ring out Thy praises over land and sea
till men should as universally adore as once they did unanimously reject.
Thy creatures wrong Thee, O Thou sovereign Good! Thou art not loved,
because not understood: This grieves me most, that vain pursuits beguile
Ungrateful men, regardless of Thy smile.