but then, after pilate finally relents to the pressure of the crowd, he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to them.
such a simple word without much cultural meaning for us. we don't see much flogging (fortunately), and it is pretty easy to just gloss right over that word. after all, we know what's coming next in the story which makes flogging look like a walk in the garden. but still, maybe we would do well just to linger there for a moment. Jesus certainly did. this King of peace, who chose not to defend himself to the roman governor; who chose God's will rather than his own; who knew that these agonies were only a taste of what lied ahead. this King of Love was stretched out as ignorant men striped his back with welts. i have no desire to get all "mel gibson" on you here, but as i wrestled with this text i couldn't get past the sheer brutality of it: flogged. like a common criminal. the King of Creation, punished and humiliated in place of Barabbas, in place of all of us - any of us.
it's nearly too much to imagine, and way more than enough to break my heart.
so i made this collage:
"lent 2011: flogged"
mixed media collage on canvas
gregory a. milinovich
to see some close ups and details of the collage, click keep reading.
"...by his wounds we are healed." -isaiah 53:5