It was a fact that Jesus was innocent. The Roman governor in charge of Judea, Pontius Pilate, so stated himself after having examined Jesus personally (John 19:4). It is also a fact that Jesus never even committed a single sin (Heb. 4:15). And yet, they fashioned the crown of thorns and placed a purple robe upon His shoulders in mockery, and delivered Him to be crucified. He bore His cross to a place called Golgotha, where they crucified Him (John 19:17-18). The Bible tells us about the state of mind of some of the people who were there.
Soldiers. These Roman men oversaw the crucifixion. They were of cruel mind (Mark 15:16-20), mocking Him even as He hung on the cross (Luke 23:36-37). They were also hard-hearted and indifferent, as shown in John 19:23-24, where they cast lots for Jesus’ clothing. This act was foretold in Psalm 22:18. Jesus forgave these men (Luke 23:34)!
Mary. Also there at the crucifixion was Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus (John 19:25-27). The Bible doesn’t say much about her state of mind, but every mother can easily understand the pain she must have felt looking upon her son hanging on that cross, slowly and painfully dying.
Priests. These men were full of hatred toward Jesus (Matt. 27:41-43). They admitted Jesus had “saved others,” likely referring to those He had healed. They now torture Jesus with their words, saying, “If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.” Jesus, of course, could have come down from the cross if He had desired, but he persevered in accomplishing God’s plan!
Thieves. Two robbers were crucified on either side of Jesus (Matt. 27:38). One was full of blasphemy, the other humility, admitting his own guilt (Luke 23:39-43).
Centurion. Though he was part of the soldiers, this man made a startling admission. His state of mind was acceptance that Jesus was the Son of God (Mark 15:39).
You. Not personally, of course, but representationally. Jesus bore your sins in His own body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). As He hung there dying, surrounded by heartbroken supporters, vicious gawkers, grim soldiers and proud religious leaders, He did so as a perfect offering to God for each one of them, and for each one of us. Since He died for you, will you live for Him?
McCrory Church of Christ