Lectio: Mark 15:15 – Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified.
Contemplation: “He had Jesus flogged …”
Meditation: The Romans maintained order over the populations they conquered through acts of state terror. Strangling, stoning, burning, burning with oil, flogging, and crucifixion was common and randomly practiced to instill fear in and deter rebellion by their subjects.
Flogging was part of the crucifixion process meant to publically humiliate and dehumanize a person in addition to extending their torturous pain and suffering. The instrument used to flog Jesus would have been a whip of leather strips, fastened with hooks, and iron balls very capable of tearing the skin off the ribs. The brutality imposed on Jesus through flogging and crucifixion would show the power of the Roman Empire to dispatch of threats to any person or group thinking about or acting to disrupt society.
Today I meditate on how Jesus shares in the dehumanizing and brutal experience of all people throughout the world living in fear, flogged by never-ending and vicious cycles of violence, intimidation, and repression.
Prayer: I pray for the grace to help stop violent, intimidating, and repressive floggings against humanity, near and far.