11.Jesus Before the Soldiers (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus… and they stripped him.” -- Matthew 27:27-28 (RSV)
The soldiers pulled off Jesus’ clothes and mocked him with contempt. They made ethnic jokes about him for being Jewish, and taunted him as a “king” because he taught that God’s kingdom of love is here and now. They could have used “queer” or a “faggot” or “lezzy” or any other slur. Whatever the words, whenever one person insults another, a child of God is humiliated. As Jesus said, whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me. The soldiers were young men similar to Jesus in many ways. The bullying was done by the soldiers, but the religious leaders were also to blame for the cruelty. The priests had set the stage for violence by calling Jesus a sinner. They targeted Jesus, but the pain spread far beyond him to terrorize many more people.
God, wherever there is hate and violence, make me a means of love and peace.
Next: 12. Jesus Is Beaten
Why Anti-Gay Bullying is a Theological Issue
by Cody J. Sanders, Baptist minister (Religion Dispatches)
This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry.
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Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.