Sometimes, I am stunned at Who Jesus Is, at What He Has Done for us.
Take Mark 15. Follow along.
Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin, the chief priest, elders and teachers of the law.
He has just been betrayed by one of his closest advisors.
He goes before Pilate, who, because of the time of the year, customarily releases a prisoner. The choice Pilate gives to the people? Jesus or Barabbas, an “insurrectionist who had committed murder” in a recent uprising.
The very same people who welcomed Jesus into town at the beginning of the week, the ones who called out “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David”, the ones who honored and worshiped Him are now the very ones crying out, SHOUTING, “CRUCIFY HIM”. They actually prefer the release of a murderer than The One Who Healed their friends, neighbors, and family members. Than the one who fed them when they were hungry. The one who brought people back from the dead.
Pilate gives in, releases Barabbas, and has Jesus flogged then handed over to be crucified.
But wait. This is no over.
Jesus is led to a giant hall called the Praetorium. Upon arriving, the entire company of soldiers is called to gather around him.
They strip Him, and place a robe around Him.
They find a thorn bush, make a crown, and put it on His head.
They begin to “praise” Him. They spit on him, hit him on the head with a staff and bow before Him.
When they were done, they again strip Him and put His clothes back on Him. They lead Him out to be crucified.
A few questions for your consideration:
Was He shaking?
Was He crying?
Did He vomit?
How do you think Jesus felt as the guards laughed at Him?
Made jokes about His body?
Why would Jesus do this? Why would He endure all of this?
I am ashamed over how many times I have turned my back on this love. I am embarrassed over my lack of love and devotion for Jesus.
But my shame and embarrassment does not even come close to that of a man stripped bare, beaten, bloodied, mocked and spat upon. And for what? Love.