He Saved Others; He Cannot Save Himself
Read Matthew 27:27-44
That was the charge they leveled against Jesus (27:42), and they were right! Not in the ultimate sense, for he could have called thousands of angels to his defense at any moment (26:53). But he couldn’t have saved himself and still saved us.
If Jesus had saved himself, there would be no saving his people from their sins (1:22), no easy yoke or light burden for his followers (11:30), no sign of the prophet Jonah (12:39-40; 16:4), no fulfillment of God’s will for his life (16:21-23), no fulfillment of his prophecy of his death and resurrection (20:18-19), no giving of his life “as a ransom for many” (20:28), no “blood of the covenant . . . poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (26:28), no tearing of the curtain temple from top to bottom opening the way into the holy of holies (27:51), no resurrection from the dead (28:5-6), and no gospel to take to the world (28:18-20).
Today’s passage is full of unintentionally true statements, from the Roman soldiers who bowed in mock worship with the words “Hail, king of the Jews” (27:29), to the inscription over the crucified Jesus’ head reading “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews” (27:37), to the religious leaders who mocked “He trusts in God; let God deliver him now” (27:43). And it is also true that he came to save others, and therefore could not save himself.