Lent Day 29: Wednesday after the Fourth Sunday in Lent — The Scourging.
Read St. Matthew xxvii. 27-30.
 Then the soldiers of the governor taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto him the whole band;  And stripping him, they put a scarlet cloak about him.  And platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand. And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying: Hail, king of the Jews.  And spitting upon him, they took the reed, and struck his head.
1. When the Jews had shouted for Barabbas, and threatened Pilate to denounce him as disloyal to Rome if he released Jesus, the governor made one more attempt to save the life of Christ. He ordered Him to be severely scourged, hoping thereby to move the pity of the Jews. Vain attempt at a fresh compromise with his conscience! Pilate only involved himself in deeper guilt, and Christ in a greater agony of suffering. Nothing ever succeeds except a bold, fearless obedience to God’s holy inspirations.
2. Our Lord is handed over to the scourgers, who strip Him naked and then begin their impious barbarity. The Pharisees are said to have plied them with drink to make them more reckless in their cruelty. Blow succeeds blow from those many-lashed, iron-pointed scourges. First His sacred flesh becomes red and swollen under the stripes, then the blood begins to flow, then the iron points lacerate and tear His delicate body until it is one great wound. Listen as He piteously moans under the anguish! See Him masked in blood! O my Jesus, what must be Thy love to endure this for me!
3. At length the executioners cut the cords, and Christ falls heavily in a pool of His own blood. What has brought the King of heaven to this condition of abject misery? It is the sins of men, especially the sinful indulgence of the body. It was to atone for sins of luxury and impurity and drunkenness that the spotless Lamb of God was thus tortured. Alas! how often have I been indulgent to my body! How have I yielded to the cravings of sense!
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Lent Day 30: Thursday after the Fourth Sunday in Lent — The Crowning with Thorns.
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