Jesus is scourged

by Victor Hoagland, C.P.
Then Pilate released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Mark 15.15

Jesus is scourgeThe gospels describe the scourging of Jesus in the sparest terms. Early readers of the gospels had no need to have it described; they knew first-hand the terrible part scourging played in Roman crucifixion.

When the sentence for crucifixion was passed, Jesus was stripped of his clothes and tied to a low post or thrown to the ground. Then he was beaten, probably with leather whips fitted with bones, or lead, or spikes. According to Roman practice, his executions could beat him at any time on his way to crucifixion, as they pleased.

The lashes from the punishing whip must have left tracks of blood on his body, an aching, pitiable sight. Pilate, according to John’s gospel, led the scourged Jesus before the crowds as his last hope to set him free. But they showed no pity.

“The Word was made flesh,” St. John says. His blessing touches all flesh, we believe. It will touch those who suffer in mind and body. “By his stripes we are healed,” the prophet Isaiah says. The Passion of Jesus is a sign God will not abandon the weak and those crippled by pain.

Lord, give strength to those who suffer. By your stripes bring healing to us all.

Come, let us adore Christ the Lord, who suffered scourging and death for us.
Then Pilate released Barabbas for them and, having ordered Jesus to be scourged, handed him over to be crucified.
Psalm 42, 2-6
As the deer longs for streams of water,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My being thirsts for God, the living God.
When can I go and see the face of God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
as they ask daily, "Where is your God?"

Those times I recall
as I pour out my soul,
When I went in procession with the crowd,
I went with them to the house of God,
Amid loud cries of thanksgiving,
with the multitude keeping festival.

Why are you downcast, my soul;
why do you groan within me?
Wait for God, whom I shall praise again,
my savior and my God.
Reading: Isaiah 50, 5-7
Igave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.
The Lord is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced.

Loving Savior, you were despised and treated with contempt,

By your prayer in the garden, you prepared for your passion and death;
— teach us to imitate your humility.

In your passion, you fused yourself with the powerless and afflicted ones of the earth,
— help them in their troubles.

Strengthen with your own strength those who suffer,
— help us to comfort them while we work to help them.
Our Father...

Lord Jesus Christ,
you took to yourself a body like our own
and offered it to be scourged
for our salvation.
Your blood is our ransom;
cleanse us from sin as with faith and love,
we recall the sufferings you endured.
You live and reign, forever and ever.

Illustration: Duk Soon