Having been through experiences of mental suffering and physical brutality, Christ is now subjected to emotional bullying and humiliation. He had been handed overr to the Roman authorities on charges of being 'King of the Jews' (the charge which eventually appeared over his crucifix), which the Jewish powers knew would be interpreted as a His being a political rebel, and so lead quickly to His demise.
Faced by the Roman Prefect, Jesus had admitted His Kingship, and made explanation of it (John 18:36-37), His rather enigmatic statements that, "My Kingdom is not of this world", leading Pilate to want to release Him, who to his mind was presumably a harmless crank. Threatened by the possibility of a mob outside turning nasty, however, he had handed Our Lord over to His fate.
My grandfather used to say that "It's the easiest job in the world to find fault", and it is probably equally easy, having found a fault or weakness to ridicule this. We have already seen signs of this in the character in the picture that accompanied my post on the Scourging, who seems to avoid the issue by making some snide remark to his neighbour. Now we see the Roman soldiers, obviously in a collective mood of bravado and 'laddishness', moving to humiliate Our Lord completely, mocking all that He has done and said in the recent days.
This brings us to two thoughts:-
First, we need to consider any times that we have directly or indirectly humilated others. This may be through putting them down in front of others, or through snide and hurtful remarks, or, more subtly, by damaging their character and reputation through gossip and slander. We need to reflect on our own prejudices, and when examining our consciences, ask the question 'Do I hate people?'
The second thought comes from the opposite side. In this world where secularism, atheism and the hedonistic pursit of wealth and pleasure prevail, it is often a great challenge to stand up for our Faith and our Christian morals. If we do, we are liable to suffer ridicule and abuse. We need to recall that Our Lord has been there too. We need to remember that there have been, an still are, martyrs willing to die for the Faith (a fate to which, mercifully, few of us will actually be called), realise that what we have to endure is not that great, and learn to 'Offer it up' for the Glory of God.
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especailly those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.