He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
Read Chapter 27
George Leo Haydock
If he be the king of Israel. Pilate having written on the inscription set upon the cross, that Christ was the king of Israel, the Jews endeavoured to persuade him to remove or alter it; but Pilate gave them for answer, according to St. John, "what I have written, I have written. "The Jews, therefore, wishing to show that he was not their king, said with insulting scorn, "if he be the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross "(St. Chrysostom) "and we will believe him. "Falsehood and deceit are stamped upon these words of the Jewish priests; for, whether is it more difficult to descend from his cross, being yet alive, or, being dead, to raise himself from the tomb? He rose again, and you did not believe had he descended from the cross, you would have been equally incredulous. (St. Jerome) ...
Wherefore they said those things, and also these. If He is the king of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross. He saved others, Himself He cannot save, Matthew 27:42 aiming hereby to bring discredit even on His former miracles. And again, If He be Son of God, and He will have Him, let Him save Him.
O execrable; most execrable! What, were not the prophets prophets, nor the righteous men righteous, because God rescued them not out of their dangers. Nay surely they were, though suffering these things. What then could be equal to your folly? For if the coming of the dangers upon them did not injure their honor with you, how much more in the case of this man, was it wrong for you to be offended, when both by what He did, by what He said, He was ever correcting beforehand this suspicion of yours.
Yet nevertheless, even when these things were said and done, they prevailed nothing, not even at the very time. At any rate, he, who was depraved in such great wickedness, and who had sp...