Why does he not come down from the cross? (Mk 15:32-15:32

“‘Let the Messiah Christ!

The King of Israel!

Come down

From the cross now!

Thus,

We may see

And we may believe.’

Those who were crucified

With him

Also taunted him.”

 

ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραὴλ καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ, ἵνα ἴδωμεν καὶ πιστεύσωμεν. καὶ οἱ συνεσταυρωμένοι σὺν αὐτῷ ὠνείδιζον αὐτόν.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:42-44.  In Luke, chapter 23:35-37, there is only a mention of leaders and Roman soldiers, without any specific indication of which leaders, while there is nothing similar in John.  Mark said that the taunting continued.  They said if Jesus was the Messiah Christ (ὁ Χριστὸς), the King of Israel (ὁ Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραὴλ), let him come down or descend from the cross now (καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ).  Then they would see (ἵνα ἴδωμεν) and believe (καὶ πιστεύσωμεν).  Mark also said that the bandits or robbers, who were crucified with Jesus (καὶ οἱ συνεσταυρωμένοι σὺν αὐτῷ), also taunted or insulted him in the same way as the others had done (ὠνείδιζον αὐτόν).  These robbers were just as bad as the Jewish leaders, Roman soldiers, and the others passing by.  However, Luke, chapter 23:39-43, had an extended conversation between Jesus and these two bandits.  One of the two thieves or bandits told Jesus to save himself and them also, but the other thief or robber said that they deserved to die.  Only Luke had this story about the good and the bad thief.  Here in Matthew and Mark, both of the bandits being crucified with Jesus taunted him.  There was nothing about these thieves at all in John.  When someone is down, do you taunt them?  Would you have been among these people taunting Jesus?

 

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The Jewish religious leaders mock Jesus (Mt 27:41-27:43)

“In the same way,

The chief priests also,

Along with the scribes

And the elders,

Were mocking him.

They said.

‘He saved others.

He cannot save himself.

He is the King of Israel!

Let him come down

From the cross now!

Then we will believe

In him.

He trusts in God!

Let God

Deliver him now!

If he wants to!

He said.

‘I am the God’s Son.’”

 

ὁμοίως οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἐμπαίζοντες μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων καὶ πρεσβυτέρων ἔλεγον

Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν, ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι· Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραήλ ἐστιν, καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ καὶ πιστεύσομεν ἐπ’ αὐτόν.

πέποιθεν ἐπὶ τὸν Θεόν, ῥυσάσθω νῦν εἰ θέλει αὐτόν· εἶπεν γὰρ ὅτι Θεοῦ εἰμι Υἱός.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:31-32, although Mark did not mention the elders nor the last verse about the Son of God.  In Luke, chapter 23:35, there is only a mention of leaders, without any specific indication of which leaders, while there is nothing similar in John.  Matthew said that the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), the scribes (μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων), and the presbyter elders (καὶ πρεσβυτέρων) mocked Jesus in the same way as those passing by (ὁμοίως…ἐμπαίζοντες…ἔλεγον).  These religious leaders said that Jesus had saved others (Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν).  Why could he not save himself (ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι)?  If he was the King of Israel (Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραήλ ἐστιν), let him come down or descend from the cross now (καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ).  Then they would believe in him. (καὶ πιστεύσομεν ἐπ’ αὐτόν).  Jesus trusted God (πέποιθεν ἐπὶ τὸν Θεόν), so let God deliver or rescue him, if he wanted to (ῥυσάσθω νῦν εἰ θέλει αὐτόν), since he said that he was the Son of God (εἶπεν γὰρ ὅτι Θεοῦ εἰμι Υἱός).  However, Matthew never had Jesus say anything.  These ironic mocking comments from the Jewish religious leaders indicate Matthew’s dislike for them.

Yahweh would destroy Babylon (Jer 51:52-51:53)

“Says Yahweh.

‘Therefore,

The time is surely coming.

When I will punish

Her idols.

The wounded shall groan

Through all her land.

Though Babylon should

Mount up to heaven,

Destroyers would come

Upon her,

From me.

Though she should fortify

her strong heights,

Destroyers would come

Upon her,

From me.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh was going to destroy Babylon and her idols. The time was coming when Yahweh would destroy all their idols throughout the country. The wounded ones would groan. Even if Babylon would mount prayers to heaven, her destroyers would come upon her from Yahweh. Even if she would fortify herself with strong high walls, these destroyers from Yahweh would descend upon her. Babylon and her idols were doomed. Yahweh was sending his destroyers.

The destructive fire for the house of Judah (Jer 21:11-21:12)

“To the house

Of the king of Judah

Say.

‘Hear the word of Yahweh!

O house of David!

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Execute justice in the morning!

Deliver from the hand

Of the oppressor

Anyone who has been robbed!

Otherwise my wrath

Will go forth

Like fire.

It will burn

With no one to quench it,

Because of your evil doings.’”

Having talked about the fire destruction of Jerusalem, Yahweh turned to the house of Judah, the house of David. They were to execute justice every morning. They were to help the oppressed, especially those who had been robbed. If they did not, they too would have a fire without end descend upon them because of their evil ways.

The sword of Yahweh on Edom (Isa 34:5-34:7)

“When my sword has drunk

Its fill in the heavens,

It will descend upon Edom.

My sword will descend

Upon the people I have doomed.

Yahweh has a sword.

It is sated with blood,

With the blood of lambs,

With the blood of goats.

It is gorged with fat,

With the fat of the kidneys of rams.

Yahweh has a sacrifice in Bozrah.

There was a great slaughter

In the land of Edom.

Wild oxen shall fall with them.

Young steers shall fall with them.

Mighty bulls shall fall with them.

Their land shall be soaked with blood.

Their soil made rich with fat.”

Isaiah has Yahweh talk about his sword that was going to descend on the country of Edom, southeast of Judah, where the twin brother of Jacob, Esau, had settled as in Genesis, chapter 36. Yahweh’s heavenly sword would fall upon the doomed country of Edom. This sword would be full of blood from goats and rams as well as fat from their kidneys. There was going to be a great sacrificial slaughter in Bozrah, the capital city of Edom. There was going to be such a sacrifice of oxen, steers, and bulls that the land would be soaked with blood and fat so that the soil would become rich.

The peaceful saving Spirit of Yahweh (Isa 32:15-32:20)

“A Spirit from on high is

Poured out on us.

The wilderness becomes a fruitful field.

The fruitful field is deemed a forest.

Then justice will dwell in the wilderness.

Righteousness will abide in the fruitful field.

The effect of righteousness will be peace.

The result of righteousness is quietness.

The result of righteousness is trust forever.

My people will abide

In a peaceful habitation,

In secure dwellings,

In quiet resting places.

The forest will disappear.

The city will be utterly laid low.

Happy will you be

Who sow beside every stream.

You will let the ox range freely.

You will let the donkey range freely.”

Into this desolate situation, Isaiah inserts a ray of hope. The Spirit of Yahweh will descend on his people. The wilderness will become a fruitful field, almost like a forest. Justice shall dwell in the wilderness, while righteousness will be in the fruitful fields. This righteousness will bring peace, quiet, and everlasting trust. You will live peacefully in secure houses with quiet resting places. The city and the forest will disappear. You will lead a happy life sowing along streams and letting your ox and donkeys graze freely. This will be the ideal time of peaceful farmers.