25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the King of the Jews.
27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. [a] 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!’ 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.’ Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
On the Cross, Jesus drew the brokenness of all humanity onto himself, like sunlight focused by a magnifying glass. The wretchedness of all people, rich and poor, respectable and outcast, powerful and weak, was concentrated on him; even that of his religion’s leaders and the political rebels hanging either side of him. There’s something about his self-sacrifice that drew out the worst in people, as well as revealing the best in him. Perhaps a better illustration is someone sucking the venom from a snake bite, so that the doomed person could live, but facing being poisoned themselves by doing so.
Jesus, thank you that you willingly shouldered our sinfulness, taking on you all that is rotten, wrong and nasty about us, so that through enduring its consequences, we could be set free from them.