Luke 23:35 And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!"

There are 2 groups of people at Jesus crucifixion, scoffers and bystanders. Its not hard to see that the scoffers are wrong, they are showing no respect, and they are mocking Jesus as he suffers. So, what'’ wrong with that? We often see people who mock, scorn, ridicule and generally show their contempt – that’s what much of comedy today looks like. In the first place, since Jesus is God, they are not showing him the respect he is owed as our King – this breaking the 4th commandment which speaks of honoring your father and mother and all in authority. They are not keeping the 3rd commandment in that they are not giving him the worship he deserves. They are not keeping the 1st commandment, and they are not keeping the 2nd commandment, for such ridicule dishonors God’s name – but the other commandment they transgress is the 8th commandment, they bear false witness against a neighbor, that’s what such slanderous words are.

So one might be tempted to say, I was there, but I wasn’t a scoffer, and so justify yourself – I was just an innocent bystander. Many people believe you can be an innocent bystander – I saw what happened but I didn’t want to get involved. But there is a real problem, for the 8th commandment is not just about lies and gossip – to keep the 8th commandment it is required that you "defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest possible way." In other words if you fail to speak up or defend your neighbor, you break the 8th commandment. That’s why it is probably impossible to be an "innocent" bystander.

Many argue that religion is personal, its just between me and God – some religions might be that way – but this is not the way of Christianity. There is no room for anonymous Christians. Not only that, but when we are called to faith, we are not called, just to believe, but we are called to make disciples of all nations – you can’t make disciples if you don’t talk about your faith.

That’s why its rather important to note, that when Jesus was crucified, everyone was guilty, no one was righteous, we are all sinners. So what do you do if you are a sinner? You confess your sins and repent of your wicked ways, and you turn to God for mercy and forgiveness.

And that is exactly what we find in the cross of Christ. And that is why this good news about Jesus is so great – for what other king, who was ridiculed, dishonored, tortured and killed, would not, if he had the chance punish all those who had rebelled against him, and all those who had not shown themselves to be good and faithful subjects.

But we have no ordinary king, we have a gracious and merciful king who has brought to us sinners forgiveness, life and salvation.