CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST
St. Matthew goes on to relate other insults which the Jews offered Jesus Christ: He saved others, himself he cannot save (Matt. xxvii. 42).
Thus they treated Him as an impostor, by referring to the miracles wrought by Him in the restoration of the dead to life, and by treating Him as one Who was unable to save His own life.St. Leo replies that this was not the proper hour for Jesus to display His Divine power; and that He would not hinder the Redemption of man in order to confound their blasphemies.St. Gregory also suggests a motive why Jesus would not descend from the Cross: “If He had then come down, He would not have shown to us the virtue of patience.” Of course Jesus Christ could deliver Himself from the Cross and from these insults; yet this was not the time to display His power, but rather to teach us patience in our toils, in order that we may fulfil the Divine pleasure; and therefore Jesus would not deliver Himself from death before He had fulfilled His Father’s will, that we might not be deprived of this great example of patience. “Because He taught patience, He laid aside His power,” says St. Augustine.
The patience Jesus Christ exercised in enduring the shame of all the insults offered Him by the Jews obtained for us grace to endure with patience and peace of mind all the humiliations and persecutions of the world. Therefore St. Paul, speaking of the journey of Jesus Christ to Calvary when He carried the Cross, thus exhorts us to accompany Him: Let us, therefore, go forth to meet him without the camp, bearing his reproach (Heb. xiii. 13). The Saints, when they received injuries, did not think of revenging themselves, nor were they disturbed; they were even comforted at seeing themselves despised, as Jesus Christ was despised. Therefore let us not hesitate to embrace, for the love of Jesus Christ, the very insults that were offered to Him, since Jesus Christ suffered those insults for love of us.
O my Redeemer, for the time past I have not done this. For the future I desire to suffer everything for love of Thee: give me strength to put my desires into execution.