3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
“They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.” Mark 15:17-20
Let this mystery teach us to accept mockery and scorn for being disciples of Jesus.
Humiliation, in one form or another, is part of the package. It is only avoidable if we decide to deny Christ. In other words, we can either accept humiliation for the sake of our Savior, or live as hopeless worldly cowards.
This cuts right to the core of my insecure heart. I long to be accepted, well-liked, sought after, validated, successful, etc. All the things the world says are good and desirable. It certainly seems easier to get along in the world when you are not scorned for holding an unpopular belief. And it feels a lot less lonely to have the company of friends rather than be an outcast.
It’s not easy being a follower of Christ in a culture that feeds on public opinion and popularity. It requires moral courage and conviction.
We’ll never have it both ways. If we’re truly following Jesus, we are going to be mocked. We will be the object of scorn and ridicule. We are going to be dismissed as closed-minded, prudish, old-fashioned, intellectually-stunted, bigoted, fanatical, and yes, un-cool. If we’re not being treated as such, perhaps we’d better reexamine our lives and our faith.
If we don’t stand out from the world, if we don’t seem any different, then we could be in serious trouble.
I know how often I still try to lessen my humiliation or even dodge it completely. It costs dearly sometimes to stand firm in my faith, to go against the current societal tide, to defend the truth that others say is irrelevant. But my sweet and humble Savior quietly listened to the vile mockery spewing from the soldiers’ mouths and thought of me. He decided that my soul was worth the humiliation. He could have sucked the air from their lungs with just a thought in his mind and silenced them, but He loved me – He loved them – more than He minded being insulted by those ignorant buffoons.
Discipleship will exact a price…at the very least, humiliation and scorn for His sake. Someday it might even cost our lives. But what is the cost of the alternative?