HitchHiker’s bLOG – 2022.04.13

by Sochi Watanabe

Oh the Humanity!

And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 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. Mark 15:16-20

The year that “The Passion of the Christ” was released (2004), I was in seminary, and we attended a sneak preview the night before Ash Wednesday. In particular, I remember the flogging scene because it was brutally violent and seemed to last forever. Somebody counted the number of times the Roman soldiers sadistically lashed and ripped Jesus’s body, 96 times. Some people complained that it was too violent, but it may have been the truest depiction of a flogging ever seen on film.

But people forget that the torture continued. In Mark, a half-dead Jesus is crowned with thorns that were an inch or more in length and as sharp as needles. Blood would have dripped from his head. Then add insult to injury with the mocking taunts, spit in the face, and purple cloak of royalty. All of this was done to break the human spirit, but little did they know that the Holy Spirit provided the strength to endure this.

Finally, this bloodied and beaten body was forced to carry the equipment of his execution. It may have been a cross member or the entire cross, but the weight would have been tremendous on a body bleeding out and crippled with pain.

Why do I share this with you? It’s not to glamorize or scandalize, but to make you realize how close to death Jesus already was before he was nailed to the cross. This brutal event was perpetrated by humanity, and Jesus absorbed every bit of it. This Friday is about, and it is called “GOOD!”

For this is how much he loves us!

Dear Jesus,

We can only imagine the brutality that day. But even so, that day is called “GOOD” for a reason, and it is only two days away!

We love you Lord! Amen!

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