A Public Humiliation
Loving Lord, I open my heart and mind to You as I read of Your loving sacrifice for me.
Read Mark 15:16-20
 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers.  They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.  And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!”  Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.  And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did you feel as you read these words? Why?
A whole company of soldiers (16), a large number, between 30 and 300, gathered for a public humiliation. Jesus would have been thrown or tied to the ground and flogged with leather whips. This was not a formalized, controlled punishment: they struck him “again and again’, and spat on him (19). This was mob violence, out of control. But in Isaiah we read that, “by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24). They put a crown of thorns on Jesus, in a humiliating imitation of a royal crown. Thorns signify sin and curses; at the fall the ground is cursed to produce thorns and thistles. Humans toil painfully to work it. Jesus takes on himself the effects of the curse of sin, including the drudgery and difficulty of our daily work. They put a robe on him, possibly a scarlet military cloak. That was the closest they had to royal purple; purple was also the color of religious leadership, and the sacred veil in the Temple contained threads of blue, purple and scarlet woven together. Finally, they put his own clothes back on him, unwittingly fulfilling the prophecy of what Jesus would be wearing at his crucifixion (Psa. 22:18).
Spend some time now in quiet worship of the One who gave so much of himself for us.
Lord Jesus, I can’t imagine what You went through for me but I’m so very grateful that You did.
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