Friday, April 6, 2012

They Beat Him

Mark 15:16-20 (ESV)
And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. [17] And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. [18] And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" [19] And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. [20] And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.

There seems to be a disconnect here as I read this portion. Pilate goes out of his way to try to save Jesus, and finally sends him to be crucified when he can’t sway the crowds. The soldiers share none of his sympathies. Instantly they begin to mock him, they beat him. They mock calling him King of the Jews. As so often happens in scripture, people unknowingly speak the truth.
Prisoners did not have the same rights as they do today. The idea of human rights was underdeveloped. One wonders if the soldiers felt a need to treat Jesus in such a way, on wonders if they could have crucified him in any other way and keep their sanity. Seems they needed to demonize, to work themselves into a frenzy that would allow them to do crucify an innocent man and return home to their families in peace.
(Just so you guys know, those who read this, I'm going to work through the crucifixion today, seems appropriate for Good Friday to do so. Every hour or so, I'll put more up. I don't normally do this sort of thing. I don't really time my posts for the church year, it just happens that at this point I'm dealing with the crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday. And if I went at my normal pace I'd still be dealing with that next week when we are supposed to be basking in the glow of the resurrection. and that would be wholly inappropriate. So stay tuned.)

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