We will be viewing the ugliest hours in Jesus’ life in the next few days. These hours were brutal and filled with resentment. Not on Jesus’ part but on the part of those inflicting pain on Him. We start off with Jesus’ scourging at the end of yesterday’s reading then we jump right into the soldiers’ mocking Him.
I want to know what was happening in Heaven as Jesus was enduring these tortures. What were the angels doing each time the whip was drawn back? Did they turn their eyes away like I did when watching “The Passion?” Were they crying? Were they shaking their fists in anger? Were they rejoicing because they could see the end just up ahead? Or were they silent; breath held, waiting to see if Jesus would send for them. Was God doing the same? I want to share my poem “Between Triumph & Tears” that poses this very question.
The cruelty of the Roman soldiers shone through this morning. They had about half an hour to complete their brutal whipping of Jesus. Thirty nine lashes. They had a little time left over so they decided to spend it a little more creatively. Were all their prisoners/victims treated as Jesus was, or was He a special treat for them? How often did they get royalty? Jesus truly was royalty.
The robe that they put on Jesus while mocking Him may have come directly from Herod. Herod’s soldiers mocked Jesus this same way and put a robe on Him before sending Him back to Pilate. Is this the robe that the Roman soldiers used when mocking Jesus? It certainly isn’t the one they gambled for later on. What became of this robe and crown? Did He wear the crown all the way to the cross?
Lord Jesus, I can never imagine the pain, physically and emotionally that You endured even before reaching the cross. And You CHOSE to forgive this treatment. Not once, but at least four separate times during Your trials You are mocked. Once by the temple guards and the Sanhedrin members; “prophecy, tell us who struck You.” A second time by Herod’s soldiers as they mock You and then put a royal robe on You. The third time was by the Roman soldiers and they carried it out as cruelly as possible. The final episode of mocking was during Your time on the cross. This came from all around. The people passing by, the religious leaders watching, the soldiers in attendance, and even one of the thieves hanging beside You.
It seems like all I can do is say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my part in Your burden. I’m sorry for the treatment You received at the hands of the very people who were supposed to love and worship You. I’m sorry for the cruelty that developed in man after the fall. I’m sorry You had to endure all this just for me. As much as I would like to be able to say that I would take Your place, I know I wouldn’t. I couldn’t do the work You did. I would fail miserably. I believe that one of the main reasons You were able to endure all You went through was because You knew You would be successful. You knew what waited on the other side of the pain. You knew You had completed it all perfectly. I am so grateful You had that to hold onto. It didn’t stop the pain but it gave You something else to focus on. Thank You for ALL You did and still do.