If you have a fight with someone else and you win, you feel like a hero. Maybe your friends lift you up on their shoulders and parade around with you.

When a boxer wins the bout, he raises his gloved hands above his head, smiles and stomps around the ring proud of his victory. If a nation wins a war, there is a great victory parade when the soldiers return home. Bands play, tickertape is thrown from office windows, regular work stops and people celebrate. It is a sweet thing to celebrate victory.

The Jewish leaders had plotted the death of Jesus. Finally, when they captured him and he was hung on the cross to die, they began to celebrate. According to the Qur'an, they shouted with pride, "We killed Christ Jesus, Mary's son, the apostle of God." Since they didn't believe Jesus was God's apostle, these were derisive proud words of ridicule.

The Jewish leaders maligned Jesus' message, his stated life purpose and his claims. They were joyous. They felt they had succeeded in destroying Jesus. (Sura 4:157)

Perhaps they felt that by killing Jesus they had proven that he wasn't truly God's apostle. Perhaps they imagined God would be pleased with their efforts to rid the world of a false prophet. Perhaps they were relieved Jesus' words wouldn't trouble their consciences anymore.

The Bible, in which I put my trust, also describes the jubilation of the Jewish leaders. The Bible tells us that, as Jesus was dying on the cross, the Jewish leaders stood by mocking him.

"When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!' In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. ‘He saved others,' they said, ‘but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.' In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. . . ." (Matthew 27:35-44)

"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit." (Matthew 27:50)

What do you think you would have done if you had been standing there before the cross watching Jesus die? Would you have joined in the jubilation and mockery or would you have felt pity and shame that such a good and righteous man was treated in such an unjust, evil, cruel way? Would you have been shocked that the political and religious systems could sanction such a killing of God's special prophet?

How do you feel about Jesus today? The way you treat him now is probably the way you would have treated him then. What do you think about Jesus?

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