Music: Buxtehude Membra Jesu nostri : Ad Faciem
The reading is from the Gospel of Mark.
Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.
The question keeps coming up. Is Jesus a King? Does he have a Kingdom? The soldiers have no doubt. Like all bullies, they go into the courtyard of the palace where they can’t be seen by outsiders. They make sure everyone is present so that everyone is implicated in this brutal mockery. This man is already damaged, let’s do some more. So this loser fancies himself a King, well let’s give him a bit of respect. Nobody cares about him, there is no one to protect him.
I may not be able to protect him, but I do care about him. Those soldiers may mock, but somehow Jesus is beginning to ascend the throne of his Kingdom. His Kingship will come clear to the eyes of faith.
Dearest Jesus. . .