The long, painful path to the cross has come to an end. We have felt the weight of dwelling in these texts which extended beyond the church calendar. We have chosen to allow the text to shape and change us.
After much dialogue with his Father, Jesus discerned the time to choose and allow the humiliations of his enemies. We observe the provision of a companion, an advocate for Jesus in his suffering. And we witness what love looks like un-numbed.
Mark 15:16-20 (NLT)
16 The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. 17 They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. 18 Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 19 And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. 20 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
21 A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) 22 And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). 23 They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it.
24 Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
29 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. 30 Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
31 The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.
For Reflection and Prayer:
Was there a word, a phrase, image, or feeling that stood out to you as you listened? Bring it into your prayer with Jesus. Is there a color you associate with this word?
Bring your own experience of being mocked into your prayer with Jesus. How is he with you in it? Does have something to say to you?
Be with Jesus in his humiliation, either at a distance or by his side. Is there something you want to tell him?