March 21, 2015

The Station of the Crown of Thorns

John 19:1-3

Before the crucifixion, before the purple robe and crown of thorns, before the spitting and slapping and mocking of the soldiers, Jesus was flogged. Flogging was a punishment so brutal that the victim often did not survive. The Jews limited flogging to no more than 40 lashes (see Deuteronomy 25:3), but the Romans had no such merciful limitation. The instrument used was a flagellum, a leather whip embedded near the ends with pieces of sharp bone and metal. The resulting wounds were ghastly, to say the least. As told in Isaiah 53:3, Jesus was “like one from whom men hide their faces.” We can’t bear to consider this kind of inhumane treatment. But, the horrific suffering and crucifixion of Jesus is a fact that offers us the good news: there is hope for our souls.