January 31, 2017
READ: Matthew 27:27-31
They spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it (v.30).
A Chicago businessman had no idea he was humiliating an “icon in the community.” Outside a local US courthouse, he became angry at a seventy-nine-year-old African-American woman. After arguing with her and calling her Rosa Parks (a famous African-American civil rights activist), he slapped and spit on her. The woman, however, was a judge! The man was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime.
As outrageous, horrible, and humiliating as the attack on the judge was, it’s still incomparable to what happened to Jesus during His passion week. In Matthew’s gospel, the Roman soldiers had no idea they were mocking God Himself. The soldiers humiliated Jesus by placing a crown of thorns on His head and draping a scarlet robe on Him—giving the Savior mock homage (Matthew 27:28-29). To add insult to injury, they spit on Christ and slapped His face (v.30). He was dishonored, shamed, and belittled. For “the joy awaiting him,” Jesus endured mockery and the torture of the cross (Hebrews 12:2).
It’s true. The soldiers had no idea they were humiliating the Savior of the world (Luke 23:34; 1 Corinthians 2:8). We also had no idea that, because of our rebellion against God, we conspired to humiliate Jesus. With our disobedience, we “slapped” the King of glory. With our sins, we spit on the eternal Savior of the world. It was an outrage, and we deserved death and condemnation. But, because of His infinite, fathomless love for us, He didn’t charge and arrest us. He died and set us free (Ephesians 2:4-5). May we respond to His grace by turning to Him in repentance, praising Him, and receiving His forgiveness and love!
365-day plan: Exodus 1:8-2:10
Read Isaiah 50:6 and 53:2-4 to see how Jesus’ humiliation was predicted by the prophet.
How do you feel knowing that the eternal King and Savior endured slapping, spitting, and intense suffering to set you free and give you life? What thoughts and emotions fill your heart and mind as you consider His humiliation?