6. Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns
Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Quiet moment of asking: “Lord, grant that we might share in the pain of Jesus as he is whipped and beaten, then mocked by the soldiers; we ask to know how Jesus is still mocked and pained in so many other ways in our days”
We listen to the words of the Gospel of John, and try to be present at this painful and terrifying scene. We see the instruments of torture, the whips and weapons that they used to beat Jesus. We see what Jesus sees and we ask to know, deep in our hearts, the pain that he feels too. We ask the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to stay with Jesus in these awful moments and to know his inner pain, too.
Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head and dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him and saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” and slapping him in the face.
John 19: 1-3
NOTICE – A silent contemplation moment
Ask the Spirit of God to help you to stay in a quiet space, of interior stillness despite the violence you see in this scene. How does Jesus respond to the degrading ways they treat him here? How do you respond as you witness all this? What did the soldiers do to him and how did their mocking and torture make you feel? Even in this sad and difficult moment, talk to Jesus about what is in your heart as you witness all this; comfort him, if you can.
Good and gracious God, I do not always take the risk of comforting someone else. Sometimes, too, I think that the little I can do is too small, too insignificant. Sometimes I back off and leave it to others when I know I should really follow my heart.
Help me always to be on the side of the weak, especially those who are victimised by those with power, or those who are simply bullies. Help us never to be bad to people who are weaker than us, and help us to make things easier for them. And, when we fall down and feel sad about failing, help us to get up again and to carry on.
We see in the assaults on Jesus how intimidation never wins. The ones who look powerful are really the weak ones, because they rely on force and threat. Jesus is powerless and weak but he has the truth of your love within him.
Lord, thank you for all the people who have comforted me when I really needed it, when I have been intimidated and bullied by those who think they are powerful. Thank you especially for all the small gestures of loving care that others have given to me. I want to stop myself from thinking that I have nothing to give to someone else. Help me to see that even a tiny gesture for someone else is something I do for you.
Together we pray; Lord, we want to walk beside you in your suffering. Forgive us; and help us to see you in the suffering of the poor.