In the last post, Darin noted that the time we've spent studying the last day before Jesus's death have led to some uncomfortable moments. For me, the most uncomfortable one is coming up this Sunday. Even more than the (admittedly horrible and inhumane) Crucifixion, I am hit, every year, by the torture scenes we'll read this week.
I have always hated to see people in pain. Once when we were kids, my brother had a splinter so bad that my parents took him to the pediatrician to have it removed. I was in the exam room when the doctor attempted to take it out, but fled the room minutes after my brother began to scream in pain. I hate it.
Needless to say, every year when we read the Passion story, I end up weeping right about the time that Jesus is handed over to the Roman soldiers to be flogged. I hate imagining Jesus in so much pain. When we read the Stations of the Cross (a Roman Catholic tradition) at school, I shied away from hearing about Jesus undergoing these hideous, cruel punishments.
These days, I still weep when we read the torture scenes, but not only for Jesus's unimaginable suffering. I weep because it was so needless. He was condemned to this treatment by ordinary people--the local clergy and congregations, the city and state government--and for what? I cry because I can't bear to think of anyone going through that, but also because it still happens all the time, today, in this world where we live--and for what? People are in pain, people suffer, because of the actions and inactions of ordinary people.
The question is, how can we live with this, and how can we change it?