Mark 15:32

Let the Christ, the ‘king of Israel,’ come down from the cross now so that we can see it and believe.” Even the men who had been crucified with Jesus insulted him.

I’m tying
my belief
to sense
lest vision
raise fear

I’m tying
my belief
to better
than him
or them

I’m tying
my belief
to safety
for me
and mine

my belief
safely tied
will sacrifice
without qualm
anything else

The religious leaders were having a victory party by dancing on Jesus’ grave before he is in it. After rejoicing in the validation of their accusation of blasphemy and setting a division line between the “divine” and the “human”, they turn to Jesus.

The form here is worth a look at. Bratcher489-490 indicates this first part of the verse:

is a kind of third person command…. However, a third person imperative is rather rare in languages and hence some paraphrastic equivalent must be employed. These are generally of two types: (1) a shift to second person, e.g. ‘you who claim to be the Christ, the King of Israel, come down…so that we may…’ and (2) a statement of obligation, e.g. ‘the Christ who is the King of Israel, should come down…so that we may…’ In general the latter method is preferred, for it eliminates the necessity of relating ‘you’ to ‘the Christ’ by some phrase which would be out of keeping with the attitudes of the chief priest and scribes. ‘You who are the Christ’ would be entirely out of harmony with the context.

Having plausibly made the translation of a designation of religious blasphemy into a political charge of a pretender to a throne so Rome would inflict the judgment of death desired by the Sanhedrin, the chief priests are now using the very title they would deny had any legitimacy.

Imagine that those about to die at Jesus’ side might well place their hope in anything after their death still being available if entrance is based on a curve. Surely the blasphemy of claiming partnership with G*D is far worse than anything they have done (which might even be argued is for the freedom of Israel from Rome). If so, and all three arrive at whatever equivalent of pearly gates may have been in vogue at the time, they might yet sneak in while Jesus is given the equivalent of another beating by a blasphemed G*D.

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