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The Ten Stages of Christ’s Suffering:  Stage 8

Stage 8.  They Reviled Him

After being covered with bloody wounds, exhausted, ridiculed, and exposed to the people, Jesus hung pathetically on the cross with pain in every inch of His body.  Every effort to breathe was laborious.  Fluid began to accumulate around His heart, and He began to experience severe muscle cramps and intense thirst.

John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

He was ridiculed by people passing by.   Matthew 27:39-43 records these events:

39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

Verse 42 represented Satan’s last attempt to avert the death of Jesus on the Cross.  If Jesus had come down, He would not have been able to complete His mission, which was to save the souls of you and me.  However, He was steadfast in His mission.  He stayed the course.

While Jesus hung on the cross in this terrible state, two malefactors were reportedly hung on either side of Him.  Initially, it was said that both thieves reviled him. 

Matt. 27:44 The thieves also, crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

One of the thieves even joined the Chief Priests, scribes, and elders who reviled Jesus and spoke negatively to him in Luke 23:39.

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, [a]“If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

However, the other thief came to himself and rebuked the first thief.  He then spoke words of repentance, received Jesus for who He was, and received salvation on that day.

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 

41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 

42 Then he said [b]to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.

When the repentant thief humbled himself and cried out to Jesus with a sincere desire for salvation, Jesus temporarily stopped dying and ministered to him.  His response to this man was to save him and assure him that he would be with Him in Paradise.  Luke 23:43:  

And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

This glorious act lets us know that it is never too late to be saved as long as life is in the body.  If any man would call upon the name of the Lord, Jesus assures us that He will save him.  

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

What a crying shame it is that the unrepentant thief allowed unbelief and pride to prevent him from the greatest blessing that he could ever have received.  Could it be that even today, he is crying in Hell with words such as these?

Why, oh why didn’t I cry out to Jesus?

Why didn’t I ask Him to save me too?

I was right there hanging beside Him

The most incredible opportunity of my sordid life I blew.

The other thief cried out to Jesus

He asked for salvation, and he was saved

But unlike him, I was defeated by pride

And now forever, I’m in Hell enslaved.

Dearly beloved, why don’t you take this opportunity to be saved?  If you are reading this post or listening to this message by podcast, stop now and realize that Jesus is never too busy to save you.  If He stopped dying on the Cross of Calvary to save a soul, He will save you now.  Why don’t you now call upon the name of the Lord and ask Him to save, sanctify and fill you with the Holy Ghost?  He will give you eternal life.