“Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” John 19.1-6
That was quick. Jesus was on the fast track to crucifixion. It seemed like only moments since he was arrested, brought before Pilate, questioned, retained, and now he’s being flogged, slapped, mocked and accused. And even though Pilate has said now twice that he finds no reason to charge him for the crime, the Jews are insistent as they shout, “Crucify! Crucify!”
What we are seeing now is the worst of humanity. The worst of human sin, defilement and depravity. Humanity has replaced God with their own wants and desires and are now killing the King of Grace. Its too ironic that they who are willing to murder without cause call out the innocent, mocking the very face of liberty and love.
The Son of God, falsely condemned to die, is brought before the crowd wearing a crown of thorns and a purple robe. The Roman soldiers cried out to him, “Hail, the king of the Jews!” To which the Jews (in another gospel account) reply, “We have no king but Caesar.”
God’s people once again were turning their back on God, running wild in sin and shaming the name of generations before them of many faithful and godly people who called forth repentance and righteousness.
It’s also strange that the worst of humanity would bring out the best of God. Although Jesus would die a terrible, painful, disgusting death, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords would ultimately defeat his enemies (death and sin included) and bring beauty from the ashes.
But until that time, we rest in the immodest mockery of Jesus. We sit in shame and wallow in our sin. Crying out for justice and feeding the flesh with no end in sight.
“O Lord, your persecution was so wrong. The penalty of your death was our sin. And we still ignore you. We side with the world, lust and linger, daring God to put us to the test! Come Holy Spirit! Call us to repentance once again! Help us believe in the Gospel message of grace. Turn our eyes from the sin that so easily entangles and draw us to your throne of grace. Fill us with the power of your love this day, protect our hearts and minds so we might be people of the promise and proclaim your salvation to the world. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen