I was reading the account in Matthew 27 of the soldiers mocking Jesus before they took him to be crucified. When I got to the part about how they spit in his face (oh think of that! The Face of God, the Presence!) I thought about what Jesus had done with his spit. He had used it to heal the blind and the deaf.
And then I looked at all of the things the soldiers did to Jesus that day and saw that for each one there was a counterpart of love and mercy. Where Jesus was stripped, we have been clothed. Where he was mocked to belittle and shame him, we are encouraged and comforted and named. Below is Matthew 27:27-31 with what Jesus endured from the soldiers interspersed with His compassionate response. See what great love the Father has lavished on us!
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him.
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness … Isaiah 61:10
and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head.
Bless the Lord O my soul … who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion … Psalm 103:4
And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 1 Peter 5:4
They put a staff in his right hand.
… your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Revelation 1:5-6
As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’” Romans 9:25-26
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
They spit on him
There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. Mark 7:32-33
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” Mark 8:23
After saying this, he [Jesus] spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. John 9:6
and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5
Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle. Psalm 140:7
After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. Matthew 27:27-31
On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:16 (ESV)
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