Jesus and the Roman Soldiers
ecently I have been studying Matthew 27, which covers the events leading up to the crucifixion. As I was reading I got caught up in verses 27-31. The bible says Jesus was taken by a whole company of Roman soldiers into the Praetorium to be scourged. That is about 200 Roman soldiers. Why so many? I assume it was because of the large uprising in the area about Jesus. Security was more than likely beefed up to prevent an overthrow attempt to rescue Jesus. The atmosphere was very volatile to say the least.
They took Jesus into the praetorian to scourge him. The Praetorium was a large common hallway with columns of pillars. There were rooms off of the long hall where the soldiers would exercise and practice their drills. These blood thirsty wolves had the Lamb of God alone and on their turf!
The soldiers, all 200 of them, surrounded Jesus and stripped Him naked. A scarlet robe and a crown of thorns were placed upon him. The soldiers mocked Him as the King of the Jews. They beat Jesus unmercifully and spit upon Him. Have you ever been spat upon? I have and it is not only degrading, but also infuriating. Jesus was being spat upon by 200 men. He would have been covered in saliva and mucus from head to toe. Can you imagine that? The Son of God being humilated and degraded in this manner. The thought is almost unbareable.
There Jesus was standing naked, surrounded by 200 soldiers, all of whom wanted a crack at torturing Him. All dignity was taken from Jesus there. You can bet the soldiers were very cruel to Him. These were hardened blood thirsty brutes who despised the Jews. Furthermore they loved to kill, it was what they were good at. The fact that they had pre-made a crown of thorns to mock Him with indicate to me that they planned out their cruelty and torture of Jesus in advance. They had planned upon fully enjoying the moment! The fact that Jesus never begged them to stop probably drove them to beat Him even harder. What they didn’t know, and could never have understood, was that Jesus wasn’t there for mercy. He came to take it all! Every last blow, every last ounce of humiliation, and then the cross! What a debt we owe to Him!
If you have read the CS Lewis book “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” or seen the movie “Narnia”, then you will recall the scene where Alsan hands himself over to the witch and is tortured and killed by her evil followers. This is an allegory of this event in Matthew 27. (I have attached the scene from Youtube for you to watch).
If Jesus endured this public humiliation for me, then is there anything He could ever ask of me that could compare? Jesus leads by example. If He could endure all of that, plus the cross for me, then surely I can also endure being ridiculed or mocked for believing in Him.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13