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)
This is so demeaning. It’s rude too. It’s cruel. They mocked Jesus. They mocked God. They made fun of Him. While mocking Him, they beat Him. What kind of people were these?
I have been hated on before. Bullied. It was awful. But I wasn’t beaten. These people beat Jesus. BEAT! FLOG! STRIKE! SLAP! Pure evil, I say. I can’t do that to a human being. There is a part of me that can though, I imagine. Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. Like Jesus was some animal. Not a human like Pilate himself. Psychologically, I can’t imagine what kind of people they were at home. How broken their lives must be.
When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” … They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (John 19: 6, 15-17)
Yeesh. With leaders like these, who needs commoners, you know? These were people in the temple, highly revered who mocked Jesus, who misunderstood God and who couldn’t see the glory of God. They wanted to crucify Jesus. Even though Pilate wanted nothing to do with Jesus (Pilate is quite weak, in my opinion), he kept on trying to deflect responsibility… and blame others. Weak leader. Wait. So Pilate turned Jesus over to the religious leaders. So it was the religious leaders who took Jesus to be crucified? Weren’t they worried of dirtying their hands? Tarnishing their holy hands? What kind of chief priests were these?! I thought being holy was so important to them. Why did they act so uncivilised for holy men? WEIRD. Jesus carried the cross himself. After having been flogged. How did Jesus find the strength? How did he have any more strength?
They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. (Mark 15: 21)
So they got a passer-by to carry Jesus’ cross. I thought Jesus carried it himself? Also, they got a passer-by… like these lazy religious leaders who wanted to crucify Jesus didn’t want to do the dirty deed themselves? And they got some person from a foreign land to do it as if absolving their own race and type from doing the dirty deed? Or were they bullies and they bullied this passer-by? It seems though the writer of Mark got to know Simon quite well because they mention his kids. Like he became part of the community. How interesting. I wonder if he knew at the time he was being asked to do something amazing or later on, after learning everything, did he realise how privileged he was? Coerced into carrying but then realising what a gift it was? I don’t know. So interesting. Would I have been bitter at first? Probably. Why me?? Would probably be running through my head. But imagine later when I am asked. I mean did Simon of Cyrene even know what the commotion was? Or was he just around to see what was happening and then forced to do this? Or was he minding his own business?