Meditations on the Crowning of Thorns

Richard Salbato

Before Each Hail Mary

1. Shivering with cold from the loss of blood and water, Christ was let out of the square toward the Roman guard house. Large crowds followed but a thousand Roman soldiers came in and shoved the crowds out. Christ looked at His people, and remembered the prophesy of Isaias:

“I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them. I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me. … I have set my face as stone, and know that I will not be confounded.”

2. With blood turning His robe red from the inside out, the Romans shoved Him to the ground. The Pharisees in the distance shouted out: “He called himself a king but we have only one king, Caesar.” The soldiers had not known what He was accused of before, but then laughed at this bloodied man, who claimed to be a king. So they made a stool for him to sit on, and ripped his robe off him, again tearing His flesh anew. They found an old torn Roman cape and put it on Him. It was red and came down to his knees. “Hail, King of the Jews,” they mocked.

3. They placed in His hand a reed to mimic a kings scepter. The mocked and laughed at the site and the thought of Him being a King. One of the Romans remarked that he did not have a king’s crown. He looked around and saw a thorn bush near by, which gave him the idea to make a crown.  The thorns on this bush, which still exists today, were almost three inches long. With help, he wove branches of it into a crown of thorns, using three branches.

4. Now Christ is about to suffer for the sins of the mind: sins against faith, sins against His commandments, sins against natural law, and even the sins of mental sloth. “He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth. He will be led as a shep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a sheep before the shearer, and he will not open his mouth.” (Isaias 53-7)

5. They placed the crown of thorns, shaped more like a turban, on His head and pounded it down with sticks. One of the large thorns went through his forehead and out the upper part of His eyebrow, just missing His eye. Blood flowed into his eyes from the large wounds of the thorns,
but He did not cry out.

6. Kneeling down in front of Him, the Romans mocked Him: “Hail, my king.” They then spit on him and struck him in the face. Christ repeated over and over in His mind: “He has born the sins of many, and has prayed for the transgressors.” (Isaias 53:12)

7. As Christ was being crowned with thorns and mocked by the Romans, the Paschal lambs in the distance were being tied with ropes. While the Pascal lambs were being taken to the Temple, The true and everlasting Paschal Lamb was being led up the stairs to the balcony of Pilate. When
Pilate saw what they had done to Him, he shuddered with compassion and disgust. Looking at Christ, he said, “Not even the devil can be that cruel.”

8. Pilate took Christ out to the edge of the balcony and sounded the horn for people to come forward. “Behold the man,” Pilate shouted. Even the multitude of people where shocked at this sight and became silent and gloomy. From the crown of thorns on his sacred Head down to His Holy feet was nothing but blood and wounds.

9. The Mother of God was in the crowd and saw Her Son for the first time with the Crown of Thorns pounded into His head. Her legs gave out and She fell to the ground in grief. The holy women helped Her back to Her feet and she stood shaking, watching Her Son. John was now with Her, and with the rest, they just gazed on the sight of their Messiah. Most of His skin was gone and every part of His body was bathed in blood.

10. Pilate was angry at what they did to him and shouted out: “Behold your King!” ....Yes, my King and my God, and I did that to Him. Lord, forgive me and have mercy on all of us.