May 15, 2022
Then Pilate took Jesus and ordered him to be flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, ‘Hail to you, king of the Jews!’ And they slapped him in the face. Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, ‘Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no cause for a charge against him.’ When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man!’ Gospel of John, Ch. 19, 1 - 5
Jesus' suffering ended; however, the suffering of countless people continues until today. Just like then, we still experience in our times that people brutally mistreat their fellow human beings. Human rights are disregarded. The basic right to life and liberty is trampled underfoot. Currently in the war in Ukraine, but also in many wars and trouble spots in various parts in the world. And in states where human rights are hard words.
The Bible shows us how inhumane men can become. The Roman soldiers did have their fun with humiliation. Defenseless, the Son of God Jesus stood before them. They lose all inhibitions. They inflict pain on him with a crown of prickly thorns. They strike him in the face. They spit on him. They have no respect for another person´s life. They don´t show any respect towards God, the Creator of life.
In the creation story (Genesis 1:29) it says:
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; as male and female he created them.”
Are we still aware that our fellow human beings are God´s creatures, created by God and loved in the same way as we are? Do we treat our fellow human beings with respect and appreciation? Or do we mistreat them physically or mentally, with words and with deeds?
The Lord Jesus Christ stands in front of Pilate. The apostle Paul says about him in his 1st Epistle to Timothy, (Ch. 2, 5):
„For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”
Jesus Christ is the true man as God wants him to be, full of love for his fellow men. On his chest we do not find any medals of honor. He wears no medal of merit for healing the sick, for feeding the hungry. He wears no medal for the mercy he showed for the weak and suffering.
No, Jesus was not given any medals for his humanity. He was brutally crucified. In doing so, he took all guilt upon himself to reconcile us with God. Whoever comes to him, will be given a new view upon his fellow human beings. He then can become what God wants him to be: human. An Image of the loving and merciful God.
I kindly invite you to pray with me:
Dear Lord Jesus Christ: In looking at you I can realize what my life should be. Please give me a heart full of mercy, so that I can see a creature of God in my fellow men. Prevent me from looking down on others with false pride. Keep me from the temptation to try to rule over others. Keep me from the sin of violence toward my fellow men. Let no one suffer under me. Forgive me where I have hurt, mistreated, humiliated others with words or deeds.
Together with the Christians in this world, I pray for my fellow human beings who are wronged. I pray for all who have to suffer from violence. I pray for peace in this world and an end to war in Europe. Please have mercy on us. Amen.
Thank you for listening and praying with me.
I look forward to seeing you again on June 1. June. The Lord bless you and keep you in spirit, soul, and body.
This text was translated using DeepL (free version), edited by R. Jordan.