MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: He Saved Others, Himself He Cannot Save: If He Be The King Of Israel, Let Him Now Descend From The Cross, That We May See, And Believe Him

CANO, Alonso 
Crucifixion 
1636-38
In like manner with them did the chief Priests, and the Scribes, and Seniors deride him; and mocking they said one to another: he saved others, himself he cannot save: if he be the king of Israel, let him now descend from the Cross, that we may see, and believe him: he trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will: for he said, that I am the son of God.
Consider first, that the Priests religious men, and Magistrates did, contrary to the dignity of their order, insult over a crucified man, and that they were the leaders or captains of the people in these erosions, for St. Luke saith thus: the Princes derided him with them. So great a desire they had to obscure the glory of our Lord, and that there should never after be any mention made of him; that all sorts of pool thought him unworthy of commiseration even in the midst of his torments being ready to yield up his ghost, and had contemptuously rejected him as accursed, and as the shame and scorn of the people, to be mocked both by the noble and vulgar people. But there is no council against God, who changed this great ignominy of the people into greater glory.

Consider secondly, that Christ was blasphemed more grievously by no kind of people,then by the Priests. For they provoked one another mutually to scorn him, and also abused the words of the Scriptures, which were fore-spoken of these blasphemies by the Prophet, which they rented by turns like verses of a psalm. Thou seest therefore, that the faults of superiors are most grievous, who also shall suffer mighty torments for they sins.

Consider thirdly, and mark their words: First they upbraid him with his good deeds done to the people, and scoff at his miracles. Secondly, they laugh at his royal dignity. Thirdly, they object against him his trust in God. Fourthly, they contemn the majesty of the Son of God, and maliciously mock at the things, which should bring honor unto Christ. The Magi did adore him in the stable with gifts, as God, King, and man: and these men, after so many miracles showed unto them. to mock and deride the son of God, the king of kings, and man trusting in God.

Consider 4. their evil collections: First, if he have saved himself also. 2. If he be the king of Israel he ought to descend down from the Cross. Thirdly, if he trust in God as the Son of God, God will deliver him. But first he did not therefore save himself; because he would save other by his death. Secondly, he did not therefore descend down from the Wood, because the King of Israel should reign from the Wood. Thirdly, God did not therefore deliver his Son, because he trusted, not to be delivered by him from the Cross. but by the Cross to be exalted above all creatures, and to place thee in glory with him.

Consider fifthly, that evil, men give council to descend, the devil being the author, who said, If thou art the Son of God, throw thyself down. Whereby they mayest learn, that all those descend from the height of perfection, which cast aways the Cross from them. do thou pray devoutly untoChrist to rule and guide thee from his Cross, that is from his throne of mercy, and also to take thee up with him unto the Cross.

~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J.

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