All four Gospel writers, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John have written about Jesus’ betrayal, Crucifixion, and death.(links at the end of the post) I have read all four and after reading them I am struck not by how badly Jesus was treated, that is always forefront in my mind, man’s inhumanity to man, but rather, the total lack of dignity he was given. He was betrayed by someone he loved, mocked, crowned with thorns, whipped, made to carry a heavy cross, kicked, beaten, stripped naked, nailed to a cross, and left to die while people watched.
It is a horrible scene to imagine. How much worse it must have been to experience it. While many of his followers watched from afar, his mother Mary stood at the foot of the cross with the apostle John and other women
In the Gospels, as Jesus is verbally mocked, he does not respond in kind. There is no outcry from Jesus. Instead, there is quiet dignity. And when he does speak to those around him, he offers words of comfort. To the thief, he says “you will be with me in paradise”; to his mother and John, “Behold, your mother; behold, your son.” What strength he has. With his dying breath, he is able to care for others.
How can he do this? Because he knows who he is. He is God’s Son, Jesus Christ. His dignity comes from knowing who he is. We have that same dignity. Because we too are God’s children. Do we know that? Not just in our head, but in our soul. It’s the belief that no matter what happens, God is there. And he wants our good. The world may look at us as less than for whatever reasons, but we are not less than anyone. The world may try to take our dignity, as they did to Jesus, but they can’t have it. God gave it to us. Live with dignity as his child. Jesus gave us the example and if we follow him we can do it.