The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Jesus’ humiliation is continued in John 19:1-5. Pilate, who is not convinced of his guilt, sends him to be beaten by some soldiers. They apparently know the charge, that he is some sort of king of the Jews. Not respecting the Jews or a king of his type they mock him, beating him, dressing him in a costume that is a mockery of royal robes, putting a painful crown on his head.
In human terms, this is certainly preferable to being executed. Pilate may well have been counting on this method to generate a confession. He may have expected that the crowds would show mercy. Maybe it will be enough to rough him up. That could possibly pacify the violent mob.
Pilate again presents Jesus to the crowd, saying he has no adequate charge against him for conviction. Here is the man! What are they going to do with him?
It seems that in our sin-darkened attitudes we have no great desire to show mercy on the perfect Son of God. He may appear sinless. Yet our desire is self-preservation. We are all to glad to be included in the people who are not being mocked and punished.
We find that in Jesus’ voluntary self-abasement, he submits to all the horrors which can be thrown at him. He does it for the sake of those who would believe him. This is his mercy in action. We don’t expect his accusers to show mercy, only that he will show mercy.
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