Pilate, to placate the crowd, hands Jesus over to be scourged. Six drunken soldiers take turns furiously beating Our Lord. His flesh is mercilessly torn from head to toe, front and back, all in the presence of his mother. (Mt 27:15-26; Mk 15:6-15; Jn 18:38-19:1)
1. (S) On the occasion of a festival the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd any one prisoner whom they chose. They had at the time a notorious prisoner named Barabbas.
2. (S) Therefore, having them all assembled there, he says to them, "Which one do you wish me to release to you, Barabbas or Jesus, the so-called Messiah?"
3. (S) The chief priest and elders have convinced the crowd to ask for Barabbas so they shout, "Not this man but Barabbas!" So Pilate has taken Jesus taken away to be scourged.
4. (A,M,T) Our Lord is led to a pillar where many times criminals have been scourged to death. Three pairs of drunken executioners prepare for their brutal task.
5. (A,M,T) Jesus is ordered to remove all his clothing in the presence of a great multitude, including his grief-stricken mother. Our Lord stands naked before this crowd.
6. (A,T) His bound hands are raised up by a rope to a ring at the top of a pillar, so that his feet just barely touch the ground. He is facing the pillar.
7. (A,M) The first two scourgers begin their violent assault with undisguised pleasure, using hard, thick cords, full of knots. Their fifteen minute ritual rends them exhausted.
8. (A,M) Jesus' body is now black and blue, and red, and covered with welts and tumors. Two more scourgers take over, using harder, more piercing whips.
9. (A,M) The blows from these weapons tear Jesus' flesh to pieces. His blood pours out, staining their arms. He groans, prays and shudders.
10. (A) Two more executioners take over using metal tipped scourges. These penetrate to the bone, tearing off pieces of sacred flesh with each blow.
(T) They then turn Jesus, and repeat this cruelty on his front. Finally, he is released, limp and still praying, to the ground.
O, my Jesus...
Jesus is led into an inner courtyard. He is clothed in royal purple, crowned with thorns, and is mocked as "king of the Jews." He is pushed, buffeted and insulted; his eyes are covered with blood. (Mt 27:27-31; Mk 15:16-20; Jn 19:2-5)
1. (S) Pilate's soldiers lead Jesus to the inner part of the palace (the praetorium) and all gather round. They tear off his clothes, reopening his wounds, and dress him in a purple cloak.
2. (A) In the middle of the courtyard stands a low stool, upon which the soldiers have strewn sharp flints and bits of broken pots. Jesus is roughly pushed down on this stool.
3. (S) Weaving a crown out of thorns they fix it on his head, and place a reed in his right hand. Then they begin to mock him by dropping to their knees before him, saying, "All hail, King of the Jews!"
4. (A) The crown is in the shape of a bowl, with the majority of the thorns purposely turned inward so as to pierce the head of Our Lord. His eyes fill with blood.
5. (S) They spit on him and take hold of the reed, striking him on the head. They continue to ridicule him saying "Hail, King of the Jews", slapping him on the face as they do so.
6. (A) The soldiers on guard keep their ranks, but do their utmost by laughter and applause to incite the executioners to further insult and humiliate Jesus.
7. (A) Then they overturn the stool, thereby throwing Jesus to the ground. They pull Our Lord up again and reseat him with the greatest possible brutality.
8. (A) The sufferings of Jesus from thirst (due to the fever caused by his scourging and other maltreatment) are intense; his lips and tongue are parched and contracted.
9. (A) Our Lord trembles all over. His flesh is torn to pieces. His only relief from his severe thirst is the blood which trickles down his head to his lips.
10. (A) This brutal scene lasts for a full half-hour, while the Roman soldiers continue to cheer and encourage the executioners to greater and greater savagery.
(S) Finally, when they have finished making a fool of him, they bring Jesus before the crowd.
O, my Jesus...