Today in Mark, we look at Jesus being abused and mocked, as found in Mark 15:16-20:
16 Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters; and they called together the whole cohort. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. 18 And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. 20 After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
The image to your left is one that I took while we were in the Holy Land a few weeks back. It was taken at the Lithostrotos. That was the site of the Roman fortress in Jesus’ day. Anyway the picture you are looking at is something carved into the street, or what was the street in Jesus’ day. It’s a game that the soldiers played called Game of the King.
This game was pure torture. The soldiers more or less rolled dice and where ever it landed was the abuse that they would deal out upon the prisoner. They would mock, beat, abuse and in many times, killed the prisoners before they could be formally excused.
One of the things that I always take away from going to the Holy Land is seeing that these things, they actually happened. This isn’t pretend. This isn’t a fairy tale. These things, they happened.
Wow. Read that text again, seeing what happened. And know it is fact, not pretend.
One of things that is most striking to me about the crucifixion was the abuse that Jesus took. He suffered so much, not just physical, but suffered mockery, abandonment, betrayal, He suffered so much.
And He never complained. He never said that He was wronged. He never protested His innocence.
Would you or I have done that?
Yet He did. Because He was driven by His love. His love for me and you. His love for all the world. His love even for those that were mocking and abusing Him.
He laid down His life out of love, to save the world. Oh, the love that that He has for us.
Today, may we not take that love for granted.
And may we not forget all that Jesus endured for our sake.
May we remember.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 15:21-32.
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