Jesus was taken to Calvary, the place where he was to be executed. He was stripped of his own clothes and dressed up like a pretend king. Then he was mocked and tortured.
Torture is a powerful weapon because it strips away a person’s dignity and humanity. Jesus was powerless, naked and defenseless.
The times in which we live are full of uncertainty, and we are constantly aware of just how vulnerable life is.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.
So Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. The soldiers, having braided a crown from thorns, set it on his head, threw a purple robe over him, and approached him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they greeted him with slaps in the face.
Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple robe; they came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.
Torture and physical violence still happens in many places, but perhaps you are sometimes in places where you feel vulnerable, naked, defenceless? If your dignity and humanity is stolen away from you, remember what Jesus took upon himself for you.
In what ways are our lives vulnerable?
In what ways is our community vulnerable?
Where and why is torture used in our world? Why is it so shocking?
Most of us will never experience torture, but in what other ways can powerful people take away our dignity and humanity?
Can you think of ways in which people have used language to humiliate or diminish you or others you know?