If the world had nothing better than a cross for Jesus, it will not have a royal carriage for His followers: if only thorns for Him, there will not be garlands for us.
Four centuries before Christ, the great philosopher Plato (424-348 BC) expressed a belief which proved to be prophetic: "I am of opinion that the truly righteous man, if he were to appear in the world, would be scourged, would be thrown into fetters, would be hanged." He came, and it so happened to Him.
But, someone says, the attitude of the world is very different from what it was when Jesus was here on earth. The world has learned His worth; and if He were to come back now, He would be received with mighty ovations, and heralded as the world's Saviour and Sovereign!
But would He? Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) said, "If Christ came to London today, they would take Him to Newgate and hang Him."
Jesus Christ would make such an exposure of the sin which goes unchecked all around us, even as He tore the mask off the Pharisees of that other day, that He would not long be endured. We are in enemy territory: let us not expect the treatment of friends. (J. C. Macaulay)