“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 life’s a mess, and bills pile up, and 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 major 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 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 this present load.

We count the cost when asked to serve, use our gifts, or be inconvenienced in any way. And Christ, he hung there stripped and bare, covered in the filthy spit they aimed his way, forgiving those who put him there.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Elizabeth A. Mitchell

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