When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.—Mark 15:20 NLT
Smart. Maybe too smart for their own good. Possessing strong opinions. Maybe they can not even fathom anyone with a contrary opinion. Possibly mean-spirited. Maybe too mean to engage others well consistently. People. Made in God’s image. Who Jesus died to rescue. People struggling under sin. In need of grace. People as all of us.
Somewhere along the way we’ve met someone like this. They engage Christ followers not so much in debate to exchange or learn, but for sport. Blinded by pride in their own fallible intelligence they mock our faith.
Somewhere along the way they grow tired of Jesus. They crucify Christ in their own minds seemingly forever dismissing him as a rational possibility for their lives. Scars left by some religious happenstance in their past or unmentioned fear from the unexplainable unknowns of a ubiquitous God.
Whatever the reason, like the company of soldiers in Mark 15, they grow tired of Jesus. Tired of mocking. Tired of sport. They have other things to do. So they crucify Jesus. And move on with their lives.
Until they meet a Christlike Christ follower—one who lives Christ winsomely attractive, not deadly judgmental—and they are confronted as an honest observers with the reality that Jesus did rise again. Indeed, he lives in us. As much as they have crucified him in their minds and dismissed him for whatever self-justifying reason, we show him alive!
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.—Galatians 2:20 NLT
May we be so much like Jesus that others grow tired of mocking. Not to crucify him. But to die to themselves.