Note; this section is book-ended by reference to the thieves crucified with Jesus. In parallel are the taunts of the passers by and the taunts of the High priests. The priests are no better in behaviour than the others – indeed their taunts are doubled – if he is the King of Israel/he said he was the Son of God. Both call on Jesus to come down from the cross. If he did then he would not have saved others. Here is a deep irony in the record.
A. 38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
B. 39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself.
C. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
B’. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save.
C’. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
A’. 44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.