Morning, April 7, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach?” —Psalm 4:2
An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honors which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long-expected King.
- They gave him a procession of honor, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women, took a part, he himself bearing his cross. This is the triumph which the world awards to him who comes to overthrow man’s grimmest foes. Derisive shouts are his only acclamations, and cruel taunts his only anthems of praise.
- They presented him with the wine of honor. Instead of a golden cup of generous wine they offered him the criminal’s stupefying death-drink, which he refused because he would prefer an untainted palate with which to taste of death; and afterwards when he cried, “I thirst,” they gave him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to his mouth upon a sponge. Oh, what wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King’s Son!
- He was provided with a guard of honor, who showed their esteem of him by gambling over his garments, which they had seized as their plunder. Such was the body-guard of the adored of heaven; a quartet of brutal gamblers.
- A throne of honor was found for him upon the bloody tree; rebel lieges would yield no easier place of rest to their Lord. The cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world’s feeling towards him; “There,” they seemed to say, “you Son of God, this is the manner in which God himself should be treated, could we reach him.”
- The title of honor was nominally “King of the Jews,” but the blinded nation distinctly repudiated that, and really called him “King of thieves,” by preferring Barabbas, and by placing Jesus in the place of highest shame between two thieves. His glory was therefore turned into shame in all things by the sons of men, but it shall yet delight the eyes of believers and angels, in a world without end.