27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.  29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. Mark 15:27-32
There were a whole lot of insults flying around that day. He couldn’t escape them. Why did people turn so quickly? For a while he could do no wrong in the eyes of the people. It goes back to the old adage, “if you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth in some people’s minds.” The leaders had been filling the people with lie after lie about Jesus so now they were beginning to believe it themselves.
The truth is, even though the leaders said they’d believe if He came down from the cross, that couldn’t be further from the truth. They had no intention of believing Jesus because it would destroy the power structure they had set up for themselves. They weren’t after truth; they were consumed with keeping the power they had and gaining more.
Many people you talk to will tell you that they’ll wait until their death bed to put their trust in Christ. They have no idea when death will come knocking at their door, but they’re adamant that they’ll believe when the time comes. Like the religious leaders who mocked Jesus and said they’d believe when the conditions were right, these people hold false views of when death will befall them. And I doubt they’d believe, because if they really believed that, they’d begin their journey today. Or perhaps they don’t quite understand the journey at all and believe it to be something they’ve made up in their minds.
No, those who are waiting for an obscure time and date to put their trust in Christ are fooling themselves. Like the rich young ruler that Jesus talked with, they are not far from the kingdom.