Commentary on "More Clothing Imagery"
Day 5: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - Garments of Mockery
This lesson takes a look at the garments of mockery places upon Jesus as He endured humiliation at the hands of the soldiers immediately prior to His crucifixion. The day’s texts are Matt. 27:27-29; Luke 23:10, 11; Mark 15:17-20. They point out the irony of the fact that Jesus was the true King, yet was mocked as that of a fraud or imposter. “What do these verses tell us about human ignorance, cruelty and foolishness? How do these verses, in their own dramatic way, symbolize what the world does to its Creator and Redeemer, even today? It ends with the question: “How do you respond when treated unfairly? What can you take from His example that could help you deal differently the next time it happens?”
We live in a sinful and fallen world. The world hated Jesus then and it still hates Him now. If we’re Christ-followers, we can expect this same kind of treatment (John 15:18-20; Luke 10:16). This won’t change until He comes back and sin is abolished when He comes back to make all things new (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:5). Human pride and rebellion will continue to mock those that are “not of this world”. The clothes are merely symbolic of the rejection and hatred that these people had for Jesus. “He who offered to clothe a sinful world in His own garments of righteousness and perfection was now clothed in the garments of mockery.” The purple robe (symbolizing royalty), the crown of thorns (mocking a royal crown), the bowing down (feigning admiration)—were all part of the ultimate humiliation. The extent of their hatred, pride, jealousy and ignorance prove how much they (and the whole world) need His saving grace. This act of submission to His Father wasn’t an afterthought but had been in place since before time. Jesus knew before He came to earth that He would be rejected, hated and crucified. Christ came to earth knowing that this was what He would endure—it was His mission from the beginning. He was being obedient to the Father in completing His task. This wasn’t merely a test of strength and determination. He was executing the predestined plan (of salvation) to deal with sin. It was God’s sovereign will.
“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.” (Php. 2:5-8)
Christ’s example is flawless, as He is flawless. We need to remember that He is perfect and we aren’t. More important than the moralistic lessons we can learn (or copying behavior) is the lesson of daily obedience and submission to the Holy Spirit and His will in our everyday lives. If we aren’t filled (indwelt and regenerate) with the Holy Spirit, then we’ll always experience failure and fall short of right behavior. Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, mockery and all, was so that we might benefit from grace and His righteousness. When we accept Christ into our hearts, and believe in faith, we cross over from spiritual death to life through the work of the Holy Spirit in our heart. When our spiritual “compass” is the Holy Spirit--and not our dead, carnal earthly natures--we are gradually transformed and sanctified, as our daily focus is on Christ.
“But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 2:13, 14)
As we come to the full realization of what Jesus has done for us, we are changed. Our mindset morphs from being “behavior-oriented” to being “love-oriented”. A good example is in observing a parent. We can watch what a good parent does and how he/she behaves toward the child. We can read books on parenting and “how-to”—a kind of checklist. Not until we experience the beauty and love of our own child can we truly understand what love really is and what it looks like. We are now motivated by our love, not external and behavioral factors. It has to change from the inside—a matter of the heart. This love is the reason behind Jesus endurance to the cross. It’s more important to truly understand and experience His love than to try to externally imitate His patience and endurance. The real point behind the cross is so that we will accept His free gift of salvation and receive, by faith, Jesus into our hearts and lives—the rest (including behavior) will follow in time with a continuing and surrendering relationship with Him through prayer and study of God’s Word, the Bible.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” (John 14:16-18)
(Emphasis supplied in all passages.)
Copyright 2011 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised June 11, 2011. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
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