Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Second Sorrowful Mystery - Jesus is Scourged

Laude Arts and Gifts

Please continue to imagine that you are one of Jesus' disciples experiencing the events of Our Lord's Passion and Crucifixion.

Jesus stands silent before Pilate. You wonder what on earth is wrong with Him? Why doesn't he say something? Why doesn't He tell them all who He is? Why doesn't He stand up for Himself? For crying out loud! This is His chance to let the entire world know that He is the Messiah...the Savior of the world...the King of Kings.

Instead, there is only silence. The kind of dread silence that somehow muffles the cacophony from the angry crowd crying: "Crucify Him!"; "Crucify Him!” This is the silence that emanates from the souls of those who are dead to God and so are dead to Life. These are the people who are so turned in on themselves and their selfish desires that they have become living corpses. Whitewashed sepulchers is the way Jesus described them. Their senses are so dulled by this fog of indifference and intolerance that they are blind to all that is good and beautiful. These are the very people that Jesus came to save and bring back to life. Yet, instead of accepting the Life He offered, they are putting the Author of Life to death. This silence screams and chills the very marrow of the people who are alive enough to hear it. No wonder Jesus said nothing. He knew that even His words of Life would become as tumbling pebbles if dropped into the yawning emptiness of this void.

Pilate ordered Jesus to be scourged. The horror of it leaves us speechless, yet little could the disciples know that, in the future, scripture would hardly mention it. It was treated as though it were an after thought or was somehow a footnote to the crucifixion. How is it that this incredible travesty would end up as only one line in the account of our Lord's Passion? Is it because scourging by the Romans was so common the apostles didn't see a need to go into it further? Was it because it was so unbearable that the apostles could find no words to describe it? Perhaps the description was swallowed whole and rendered mute by the suffocating silence of men's souls. We will never know.

We watch as each blow tears His precious flesh. It is almost too much to bear. How can He stand up to this ungodly beating? How can He simply accept this punishment which He does not deserve? He is innocent!

Yet, what is this? We watch in disbelief and are appalled to discover that we are the people who are beating Him. We are His attackers. Every time we make an unkind remark, every time we slight someone, every time we look down on another, it becomes a weapon which bruises His precious body. Every sin we commit becomes a whip which lashes into Him and opens another wound. Every time we hold onto our own will, we become His jailers, His attackers, His executioners. How often we become like the chief priests who, while engineering the crucifixion, refused to enter the praetorium where the scourging took place so they would not become "unclean". By remaining legalistically "clean" they thought they would be able to eat Passover Feast when "it" was all over. Blind fools! Did they really think the angel of death would pass over their sins when in reality it had taken up residence in their souls? How careful we must be not to be too preoccupied with the letter of the law which brings only an illusion of holiness when in reality it brings only death.


prayer bedes said...

Kyrie Eleison , Lord Have Mercy...

Julie said...

Thank you, Linda. God bless.