Is 52:13-53:12; Hb 4:14-16, 5:7-9; Jn 18:1-19:42
French Revolution broke out with the noble aim of freedom to all and establishing universal brotherhood. But the means used was annihilating the opponents. It caused untold misery, bloodshed, violence and hatred. Russian revolution broke out to wipe out the evils existed in the Tsar empire, again the means used was one that of violence. And violence gave rise to more violence.
But centuries ago Jesus has shown that the only means to overcome evil is goodness. Today's first reading from Isaiah describes Jesus' passion. It highlights the suffering and that it was for our sins Jesus suffered.
The crowds were appalled on seeing him
So disfigured did he look
That he seemed no longer human….
When Jesus came out after long hours of trial, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said, "Here is the man".
Here is the man! A great proclamation made by Pilate. It matches with the prophecy of Isaiah centuries ago. The prophecy of Isaiah about the son of man who would deliver the world, who would lead the estranged humanity back to God the father; who would open the shut doors of paradise to the children of Adam, and who would heal the wounds created by sin, is being realized in the person of Jesus. And the words of Pilate points to this man, on whom the Jews placed their hope as the saviour, on whom the common people look on as their liberator, on whom the weak look on as their strength, on whom the sick looked on as their healing power.
He stands in front of them with a crown of thorns, clad in a scarlet robe.
The crown represented honour and power. Kings and emperors appeared in public wearing the crown. The crown of thorn placed on the head of Jesus had great symbolic meaning. The power and glory Jesus offers to his followers have to be obtained only by accepting sufferings. The disciples have imbibed the spirit of Jesus Message. So they were ready to accept anything in their life to bear testimony to their master.
How do we react to the suffering of Jesus? We are moved to sorrow for our sins. But what Jesus wants of us is to sustain the feeling of Good Friday. The sympathy we experience today, the regret that comes to us today, the resolutions that we make today should be adhered to. Then we will be invited to share his glory, as he promised the good thief on his side, you will be with me in paradise today with me. Amen