The angry voices in the crowd rose to a crescendo, “Crucify Him!” drowning out Pilate’s protest. They wanted Him dead. They had delivered Him up and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go (Acts 3:13). Yet, this was all in fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation. The innocent was put to death for the guilty. The people had asked Pilate to put Him to death although they had no legitimate cause to do so (Acts 13:28). They were motivated by envy (Mark 15:10).
He hung on a cross like a common criminal and they mocked Him, urging Him to save Himself. “If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matthew 27:40). Little did they know that it was because He was the Son of God, that He didn’t save Himself by coming down from the cross. He stayed there for their sake and ours. He took the punishment we deserved.
It must have wounded Him to hear the jeers but the same love that made Him willing to lay down His life was the same love that infused Him when He cried to the Father, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). He was not overcome by their evil but He overcame it with good (Romans 12:21).
Jesus is our perfect example of how to deal with our enemies. We don’t let their insults or wrongdoing get the better of us. We rise above their evil intentions and follow Jesus’ advice “whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12). He never said that it was going to be easy but as His followers and the children of God, we must make the effort. And the Holy Spirit is there to help us.
The apostle Paul tells us how to deal with our enemies by quoting Proverbs 25:21, 22. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” In acting contrary to what your enemy expects such as showing them love and kindness, it will stir feelings of shame and remorse. As Christians, we don’t treat people as the world does. We treat them as Jesus would.