…so marred was his look beyond human semblance…
Isaiah 53: 14
Today the Western Christian world celebrates the death of Christ Jesus.
A few weeks ago on retreat I was meditating on St. John’s Passion. Pilate had Jesus scourged and the soldiers put a crown of thorns on his head and mocked him.
Then Pilate brings Jesus out to the crown and tells them:
Here is the human person!
Here is the human person, tortured and degraded by power, by economic and political elites. Here is the human person in the eyes of the empire, in the eyes of the consumer culture.
For that world, the human person is something, some thing, to be used and abused at will.
But in the eyes of God, the human person is a child of God.
Jesus lets Himself be identified with the victims, the poor, the maltreated, the violated.
But this human person – degraded and violated – will rise up and show us the real human person, God’s child.
For, as St. Irenaeus put it, “The glory of God is the human person fully alive.”
Pilate and the powers want to identify the human person as the one who can be controlled, who is worth little of nothing.
But, in God’s eyes, each person is worth the death of His Son.