this week in church we looked at the way the roman cohort of soldiers mocked and tortured Jesus prior to his crucifixion. as i reread it, i could only see the twisted laughter on the face of the soldiers (and all humanity, really). i can only see the juxtaposition between the broken face of God, dripping with sweat and blood, and the twisted sick grin of humanity, ironically beating the humanity out of the only one who could love humanity through it all. i imagine hearing the soldiers laugh as they make a crown of thorns and a scepter of reeds and beat him around the face and head with it. and the scene, to me, is colored purple with the robe of the fake coronation. when love came...when our king came, the best we could do was treat him to a fake coronation full of whips and thorns.
"and this is how we know what love is: that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners"
i know that this is a dark topic: the violence of the romans and the way it gets repeated in the holocaust and the crusades, in rwanda and in yugoslavia, and in every age and every place in big and small ways. the ugliness of this story reminds us of our own ugliness - the ugliness in each of us, and how we desperately need a savior. and so while it is hard to take an honest look at ourselves and recognize our own faces in the mocking soldiers, we must do so if we are to really grasp the love Jesus demonstrates, and if we are really going to see our need for such a saving love.
mixed media collage on canvas
gregory a. milinovich
hit the "keep reading" button to see some closer images revealing some of the details of the collage.