The Scourging: A Reflection

The Scourging: A Reflection

As I was praying the Rosary, and meditating on the sorrowful mysteries, I was transported by my imagination to the praetorium.  I saw our Lord tied to a pillar in the courtyard, surrounded by mocking roman soldiers.  I heard the crack of the whip and saw the flesh torn from the back of Jesus.  To my surprise I realized it was my hand that held the whip.

Almost beyond my control, my arm kept reaching behind me and then propelled the tethers of the whip forward, my wrist snapping back at just the right instant to cause the bone and lead filled ends to strike Jesus, and with brute force, rip into his body, spraying blood and flesh in all directions.  I kept thinking to myself, “Why am I doing this to Jesus?  I am a follower of Christ, a Christian, a believer, how can I do this to my savior?”

I came to realize it is my sinfulness that continues to scourge Jesus.  He took on the sins of all men; past, present and future.  Every time that I make a choice against God, (the definition of sin) I throw my arm behind me and strike our Lord with the whip.  I strike our Lord unknowingly by my sinful habits, habits that I overlook because they become ingrained; Sins that I commit without a thought, almost out of instinct.  These are the sins that caused me to discover my hand on the whip.

As I thought about this, I was more than a little disturbed.  I started to think of all the sins that are glorified in our culture; Sexual promiscuity, abortion, pornography, euthanasia, and the denial of God in the public forum to name a few.  How often and how horribly is Jesus being scourged by the sins of this world?

Our Lord turned his head and looked back at me, his eyes met mine, not with anger but with compassion.  Though he was suffering, he let me know with a look in his eyes that he gladly suffered his afflictions, that through them I might be saved, without them, I would be lost.  He reminded me of his words on the cross before he died, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  Jesus forgives me, even when it is my hand that wields the whip.

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Written by
David Seitz