Matthew 27: 41 - 43, Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'" NKJV
Don't you find it amazing and at the same time very perplexing how the spiritual leaders witnessed all that Jesus did in forty-two short months, yet refused to believe that He was the Christ? These supposed "men of God" were so filled with unbelief that it caused them to disregard the greatness and validity of Jesus' works. These "holy men" showed nothing but distain and contempt for Jesus, yet they were willing to say that if Jesus would come off of the cross in response to their demand, they would believe Him to be the Son of God.
We can see through both the hearts and words of the voices that mocked Jesus that day how unbelief negatively affects the human heart. Unbelief, if we allow it to rule our hearts, can cause us to become cynical toward God. The people that ridiculed Jesus that day weren't interested in coming to faith in Him as Christ, but simply used this moment of vulnerability to spiritually persecute and oppress Him.
Doesn't it almost sound "noble" of them to offer Jesus the chance for Him to "win" them over to faith if He would just come down off of the cross? Why do you suppose Jesus ignored the "cries" of those who said they would "believe" if He would do this one act of pleasing them? Let's think this offer through for a moment. If Jesus had submitted to the will of a few men who were taunting Him, He would not have fulfilled the Father's will and pleased the wrath of God against fallen man. In other words, you and I would have no case before God. After death, every person that has ever been born would spend eternity separated from their Creator in torment. Aren't you glad that Jesus ignored a few voices so that He could save countless souls from an eternity of torment, and so that He could give us eternal life? Let me leave you with this final thought for today.
Acts 1: 3, ...He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. NKJV
We can see that Jesus remained in Jerusalem for forty days after His passion. He showed His disciples and those who would believe that He was alive and that He was indeed the CHRIST, the Son of the living God. However, here's the point you must catch today.
Acts 2 : 22 - 25, "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know -- Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. NKJV
The very same men that mocked Jesus on the cross and saw His mighty miracles, the very ones who said, "If you be the Christ come down from the cross and we will believe you," were now persecuting His disciples. In other words, they lied to Jesus while He was on the cross. We know this because Jesus not only came down from the cross, but He also came up from the grave after being dead for three days...and they "still" did not believe Him. Tell me, which would make a greater impact on you if you were a sinner seeking salvation? To see Jesus pull the nails out of the wood that held Him to the cross and come down or to see Jesus alive for forty days after you watched Him be placed dead in a tomb for three days?
Unbelief refuses to believe in Jesus as being the Christ, the Son of God. Therefore, we must make a choice to place faith in Jesus. We must not try to get Him to prove Himself to us. It's all about trust.
Trusting in the Lord,