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.
With these words the high priests, scribes and elders in Jerusalem mocked Jesus Christ, the crucified One. Were not the physical pains on the cross enough without their offending Him additionally with their scornful insults? And it was not lies, but the truth that they were expressing they had witnessed during His life.
“He saved others.” His enemies admitted that! How many sick people had He healed, how many had He freed from Satan’s power, how many guilt-laden souls had He granted rest and peace! And now?
There He hung on the cross in undeniably dreadful torment. And His enemies challenged Him with blasphemous words: “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” (v.40). They expected Him to prove that He really was the One He claimed to be. “Himself he cannot save,” was their derisive judgment.
But they were wrong. Did they really believe Jesus did not have the power to come down from the cross? Was it inability? No, He could not save Himself, because He would not! The work of redemption was to be fulfilled. Because God loved the sinner and wished to bring him salvation, that is why the Lord Jesus Christ remained silent and did not respond to the demand of those scoffers.
Lord Jesus, You bore the contempt, the scorn and the blasphemy, and did not come down from the cross. You endured all the suffering there, so as to save us. How grateful we are to You!