Flagellation (detail) 
c. 1607

Consider that our Savior's flagellation was no sooner ended but another, not less painful torture, was practiced on him; to wit, the crowning him with thorns. The Evangelist says, that after they had tormented our Lord with strips, the soldiers came to scoff and jeer at our Savior's sufferings, and planting a crown of thorns, they pressed it on his sacred head; many of the thorns broke (as St. Bernard says) in entering his head, and many pierced his skull, and touched his brain. And they put on his shoulders a soldier's coat. instead of the purple robe then used by kings; and having given him a reed for a scepter, by way of mockery and derision, they bowed their knees and saluted him, as a mock king, a king of beggars and fools; then they buffeted him and spit in his face, and taking the reed out of his hand, they struck him with it on his head, saying Hail King of the Jews.

It is hard to decide whether the pain our Savior suffered on this occasion, or the affront put on him were the greater; but both show the greatness of his love, which not satisfied with his dying of any sort of death, would choose the most bitter and ignominious one that could be imagined: For, if we observe, we shall find that each torment our Savior suffered was always accompanied with some great humiliation, to signify to us, that sufferings and humiliations are the two individual pieces of our Savior's Cross which are never to be separated. for the one without the other makes no Cross; and we are always endeavoring to separate them; we are willing to suffer, if no humiliation attends it; but if humiliations are added to what we suffer, we cannot bear it. Let us remember that sufferings without humiliation, is not Christ's Cross, but only  a part of it; but both together make it entire, and humiliation is the chief piece of it. 



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