“And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!” Matthew 27:28-29

We cry unfair when the car won’t start, when the bills pile up, when setbacks smash our plans into more pieces than we can count. And Christ, well he stood silently while the soldiers bore down on him like pelting rain, their mocking words and relentless fists all ferocious and unrestrained.

We demand our rights when the boss is mean and the kids won’t mind and the checkbook’s lean. We pout and swear and run our lips ‘cause life’s filled up with minor twists. And Christ, well he let them push him around, curse his name, jam his brow with a crown of thorns that pierced his skin like sharpened knives at full tilt.

We whine and sigh and wring our hands when trouble barges in like an unwelcome pest we can’t ignore. And Christ, he stood there and took their blows as they laughed and scorned and robbed his clothes. They tore his skin with wicked whips laced in glass and stone; we find it hard to bear the slightest load.

We count the cost when asked to serve, use our gifts, or swallow hard that mouthful of puffed-up pride. And Christ, he stood there stripped and bare, covered in the filthy spit they aimed his way, forgiving those who put him there.

“Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all” (Romans 12:14-17).

Elizabeth A. Mitchell

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