The Soldiers Mock Jesus
Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
This picture and the next one were taken within minutes of each other nearly three years ago now. They were taken on a trip to Cambodia with members of the congregation I serve. We were visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh. It was a brutal experience to think about what had taken place there just decades ago. I found this picture later to be very striking to me – the contrast between the dark barbed wire and the green grass and the colors and life beyond. I can only imagine what those who were held and tortured and killed in that prison must have imagined as they looked out beyond the barbed wire. I think of the many today who suffer in similar ways. What must Jesus have been feeling as he was being beaten, tortured, and mocked by the soldiers – all he had to do was remember just a few short days before when he was walking around free and yet now, he was facing his final hours.