MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: And Pilate Said To Them, Behold Your King: And They Cried, Away With Him, Away With Him, Crucify Him.
DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
Flagellation (scene 16)
And Pilate said to them, behold your king: and they cried, away with him, away with him, crucify him.
Consider first, that Pilate prevailing nothing by other reasons, began to provoke them to mercy by laughter, as if he should say: behold your great King, whom yes accuse of aspiring: for he which scarce looketh like a man, how can he hope to be a King? or else that he spake these words, to make them deny their Messias, and to submit themselves to the bondage of the Romans, which was hateful unto them. For yet there remained a little spark of piety in his mind: that thou mayest learn how hardly our Lord forsaketh us.
Consider secondly, the three names given to Christ in this time of his passion by Pilate and the Jews, A man, a king, the son of God: which three names the Sages acknowledged by their offerings. For salvation could not be given unto us, except God and man should suffer, who by his Passion took away the kingdom of the world from the devil.
Consider thirdly, the word full of comfort, (behold your king) by which word the conditions of our King are shown unto us, who is not a sour, hard, and importunate exactor, oppressing us with labors, and leading is with great burdens, and imposing a grievous yoke upon us; but loving and gentle, bestowing in us through his abundant charity, his own labors, dolors, blood, and life, and that blood by which alone all the filth of our sins is washed away: who carries also our sins & beareth our burdens: briefly, who refresheth us with his body and blood, and lifteth up his sweet yoke upon our shoulders. To this King thou hast given thy name in baptism: thou hast begun to fight under his banner; behold therefore diligently his armor, and observe the manner of his fighting with his enemy. For thou must use the same weapons, & fight in the same manner: and if thou dost desire to be rewarded with the like Honors, thou must strive for the victory, by humility, contempt, Charity, and other virtues.
Consider fourthly, the unbridled rage of the Jews, who rejected the King of glory, together with his Kingdom. (away with him, away with him) (say they) we will not have him reign over us. But do thou take this king of the Jews, rejected by the Jews, and given to the Gentiles; and bring him into the house of thy Mother, and into the chamber of her, that bare thee. Make him thy King, and not the World, not the Devil, nor thy Belly, nor Mammon. And say not now, Behold your King; but behold, our King, yea, my King, who hath loved me, and given himself for me. And beware, that, thou doest not again by any sin crucify this King, whom thou hast once admitted,least he complain of thee, saying: Yee, all eye people, do nail me: But rather being fastened thyself unto the Cross with Christ, pray him, that he will fasten they flesh with his fear.
~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J.