Good morning. In today's reading Jesus is mocked by the Romans who think they have won. Little do they know. All are invited to mark this Holy Week with a Stations of the Cross at 6:30pm tonight, Good Friday Gathering at 6:30pm tomorrow and Resurrection Sunday (Easter) at 7:00, 9:00, and 10:45am Sunday.
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Have you ever been mocked or felt humiliated by people who had no idea who you were? What happened and who did it?
_ Are you walking with anyone who is suffering at the hands of forces beyond their control? How can you encourage them?
_ Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen
DISCOVER [ Mark 15.16-20 ] 16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him.20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn?
_ Who are the battalion? Where do they come from? Who do they report to?
_ What purpose do you think this cruelty is supposed to serve? Who is it for?
_ These soldiers treat Jesus very differently than Pilate. Does Pilate's condemning of Jesus change how people see him?
_ What feeling might Mark be trying to evoke in the reader by including this terrible incident?
+ HOW does this passage surface and convict you of an area of sin in your life and how is Jesus calling you to take a simple step of obedience today? (Have you been complicit in the mistreatment of innocent people? In your home? Community? City? What does this passage make you feel for those who suffer unjustly?)
+ WHO in your life are you intentionally walking with that you might share what you learned with today and how can you share this with them today? (e.g., family, friends, co-workers or neighbors you are walking with to discover the message Jesus)