Holy Week Reflection: Jesus Being Scourged

And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.       Mark 15.17-19

The sadistic mockery of the soldiers betrays something of their thoughts about who Jesus actually was. They see nothing beyond what to them are false claims of kingship. They are stuck in a moment of time, only taking things at face value – “we have an Emperor, we have a viceroy – this claim is a joke.”

Beating him about the head with a reed was not going to hurt him much but it was a good form of mockery. And then the ultimate mockery –  the crowning with twisted thorns. To them it was a huge joke. We have all witnessed making fun of someone – this merely takes that making fun to the extreme.

But they were very short sighted, reacting to the scene of the moment. They couldn’t envisage the resurrection (another part of Jesus’ prophecy about himself) – the next scene. They could only see in one dimension.

We need to look beyond the immediate events, looking to the future. Not disregarding what is happening in the now but using it as a take off point that shapes the future. We need to see these events as part of the story of the resurrection – to look to the future in expectation and hope.

Imagine that crown of thorns, think of each of those prickles piercing the skin causing agony. Then think of the transformation that was to take place and imagine each of this prickles being transformed into a diamond. Imagine those brown twisted twigs transforming into bands of gold. The picture becomes one of great beauty and is a crown fit for a king.

– Chris Luckraft