Mocking: 5th Sunday of Lent

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.

Matthew 27:27-30


MOCKING.  With a plaited circlet of thorns so firmly established in Christian art and devotion, one is hesitant to mention a thorn bush. However, anyone who has made such a crown for a “Passion play” (for instance) knows that it is a tricky task, needing some considerable time and some very stout gloves (which Roman soldiers did not have). I am quite intrigued to see that in the much-discredited “Turin shroud” the portrayed figure has upon his head a complete, upturned thorn bush, roots and all.  So, although it may be most unwelcome, I must suggest that the soldiers did not have either the time or the inclination to risk tearing their hands plaiting a crown, whatever Matthew and the others write. It seems equally possible that when they had put the scarlet robe on him, and a reed in his hand, someone said, “He ought to have a crown!” and one of them uprooted a thorn bush and crushed it down, upturned, on his hand-and they all laughed. They were not concerned with “creating a devotion” but wanted to make him look as ridiculous as they could.


Also in Mark 15:16-19; Luke 23:11; John 19:2-3. (see note 13)












I suppose they thought it was funny, Lord.


You looked quite ridiculous, you know,

-a thorn bush stuck upside down on your head.


Why do we make fun of people? Why do we laugh at them behind their backs,

expose them to ridicule when they can’t hit back?


Their idea of a king, even a comic one, is very different from yours; why do we tiy to make people fit our idea of what they ought to be?


And they focus all their anti-Semitism on you.


What is it that brings out the worst in us when we’re in a gang?


We pray for all people who are exposed to ridicule, exploited, or abused.


And we watch you in awe and wonder:


Abused, you did not retort with abuse; suffering, you uttered no threats”—

this is breathtaking.


How do you do that?


How do you accept it all and leave it for God to use?






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