We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.John 19: 1-3
As I read these verses, I was drawn deeper into the story of the crucifixion. The story embraced me with immense sorrow, but also gratitude.
What was astonishing to me was how the individuals involved and the events around Jesus’ crucifixion are so very much like some of the people and events we see in our world today. There were the Apostles Peter and John, Pontius Pilate and his wife, Caesar, the Jewish Priests, the Romans, and Herrod to name a few.
All these characters and events can be found in listening to just 10 minutes of our daily news. This brought the story very close for me, and also brought an immense sense of sorrow and gratitude that embraced me. Recognizing the brutality of the crucifixion made me weep in the thought that humanity could be so sinful and cruel. This made me sadly wonder, as I listened to the news, are we just as cruel and sinful to each other today?
Pilate knew Jesus was not guilty, but for the sake of his own reputation and authority handed over an innocent Jesus for torture and death just the same. In our minds and hearts, are we moved by the crowd? Are we moved by the pressures of society? Are we moved by our own pride and power, at the expense of others, like Pilate was? Or are we willing to stand firm in the truth of God’s word regardless of the price we might pay?
But the crucifixion story also lifts me in gratitude. Reminding me to be thankful to Jesus for taking on our pain, our punishment, and our sins… so that we might be healed, that we too might live forever!
Lord, grant us patience in times of suffering that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be to the Father... Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you. May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen. Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
By Michael Bacik