During Wednesdays in Lent, we’re exploring the items of the passion and crucifixion of Christ. We begin with the royal robe and crown of thorns with the soldiers mocking Christ.
This story made me think about my own life and how, in hindsight, things change. When I was working as a cashier at The Home Depot, I was speaking with a co-worker about how a friend and I just realized we went to elementary school together. Another co-worker said “that makes perfect sense”, to which I replied “what do you mean?”.
The co-worker said “well, the hot cheerleader never knows the average joe”. I started laughing. I explained to him that if he knew me, he would know I wasn’t a cheerleader but I was actually a tom-boy redneck.
To which, he replied “ok, fine, the hot popular girl”. To which, I laughed again. He said “what?”. I said “actually, I was a nerd that was bullied”. It took him by surprise and he left.
It made me think about this in hindsight, because in elementary school I was bullied. In junior high and high school, I had a small group of friends and the popular kids left me alone, for which I was thankful. But, when I go home on visits people will come up to me (because well I don’t look much different than I did in elementary, junior high, or high school) and say “you’re Melinda Gapen”. To which, I normally jump backwards and ask who they are.
Apparently, my name was well-known; so, I guess I was more popular than I thought. But, I have come to embrace myself as the nerd that they made fun of.
In this story, we have soldiers mocking Christ. They are bowing down to him, saying “Hail to the King of the Jews”. “If you’re a king, where are your people?”. “If you’re a king, where is your land?”. “If you’re a king, where is your wealth?”.
We recognize these thousands of years later that Christ is not just a king but THE King. Our hindsight tells us that the soldiers in their mocking were among the first to recognize something we embrace as the truth.
I invite each one of us to ponder, what was the experience at that time like of Christ being mocked as king? What is our experience of that in hindsight? How does that color our image of this journey to the cross.
This is a time of reflection, let us begin with that. Amen.
Scriptures: Matthew 27:26-32, Mark 15:16-20, Luke 23:8-11, and John 19:1-5.
Sermon originally preached on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.