What was Jesus trying to teach us by his passion?
The word passion means to suffer for those you love. Remember, Jesus had options. He allowed Himself to be bruised, beaten and scraped to demonstrate to us that we shouldn’t avoid the mistreatment by those we love when we stand up for the Truth. He never fought back, never recanted, or tried to avoid the consequences of his words. Unlike the faithful Jews of the times, he continued to love those who would not agree with the truth, even when their God was right in front of them. It must have broken his heart to not be accepted by those he loved so deeply; the chosen people. Even when rejected, He never stopped doing what He had to do; leading people to the Truth; showing mercy to those who rejected the Truth. Jesus did and continues to teach us that even if people act out against you for following the Truth, it is not the person they are rejecting; it has always been the Truth that they feared. Jesus was a non-threatening man, a man of peace; clear evidence that it was not Him that they feared. Through His acts of mercy, He mirrored a Loving Messenger of His Truth. His Righteousness is Love above all else!
After the fact, the divine intervention of God the Father turns the crowning with thorns into a manifestation of the kind of leader Jesus is. As Jesus revealed himself as the Messiah, we are all called to lead by example, never denying the Truth to avoid the pain and humiliation inflicted upon us by those whom we serve. The crown, a symbol of leadership, represents to the world the status of aKing, a Leader. The use of thorns to create the crown implies lowly, demeaning status which contradicts the symbol of authority. The thorny branches of the Euphorbia Miliibush were the likely plant used to make the crown. Readily available in the area, the thorns would have ranged from a quarter inch to three-quarters of an inch long. It would have been very painful but not deadly. Unknowingly, the mockery expressed by the soldiers acted to further enrich the image of a suffering servant not the regal warrior King the Jews were expecting. The protocol of the Roman army, at the time, held that the soldiers served the King or Emporia but in Jesus’ “army”, it is the King who serves the entire kingdom. Once again, the Truth must and is revealed by the original Loving, Servant Leader. The lesson exposes the Truth of Servant Leadership and our journey is to exemplify His Holiness by following His examples.
Both the scourge and the crown of thorns, tell us that Pilate had no intention of killing Jesus. The Romans would never have wasted their time and energy on a dying man. It was the pressure of the crowds that swayed Pilate’s decision toward the final infliction on the living body of Christ. The unimaginable pain of hearing Jews scream for His death must have broken His heart. With three iron spikes, Jesus is physically attached to human suffering. Today, the miseries we inflict on ourselves and others, through our thoughts, words, and deeds as well as those inflicted upon us when we learn, profess, and live the Truth, bind us to His Holy examples.
As any student of leadership will tell you, a good leader must selflessly share in the pain, suffering, and discomfort of their team. It is through this common selfless bond of courage that leaders earn the respect, admiration, and loyalty needed to lead through tough times. Jesus knows what it means when He asks each of us to “pick up your cross and follow me”. He understands the level of courage we need to overcome the fears we face in our lives.
It is through our shared pain, born of our Savior’s Passion, that we should be inspired to show selfless love and mercy to our self, our neighbor, and the God who loves us so completely. If we are truly to become the Loving, Selfless, Servant Leaders that Christ leads us to become, then we need to willingly apply the lessons of His three inflictions to our everyday life.
If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.
Anthony “Tony” Boquet, the author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary”