Music: 'Koennen Traenen meiner Wangen' from the Matthew Passion
The casual mention of the flogging, the scourging makes the heart run cold. This is what is always done, it demands no thought, only a reflex as the obscene choreography of public execution moves into gear.
The scourging is a proven form of torture to crush any resistance that a person may have. It makes the rest easier. And since the person at the end of the flogging no longer resembles a human being, all other forms of inhumanity are licensed.
We have no access to Jesus' thoughts. We know that he asked the question in Gethsemane 'does it have to be me?' If he is thinking that this has happened to others before him, he may feel like asking 'why do you want me dead?' ( Tom McGuiness Reproaches?) The violence he experiences may make it impossible to think at all.
In the face of this brutalising inhumanity, do I recognise that I too have lacked real humanity in my dealings with others? Do I recognise that I am sometimes, or even systematically, treated inhumanly? Where do such thoughts take me in identifying with Jesus here?