Holy Week Fragments: Ecce Homo

Click Here for Today’s Lectionary Reading: John 18-19

I did not expect the “Ecce Homo” to stick out to me today. Ecce Homo is the Latin Vulgate translation of “Here is the Man” or “Behold the Man.” This is Pontius Pilate’s statement about Jesus, bleeding, wearing a crown of thorns, and wearing nothing but some purple cloth in John 19. This statement expands out of this particular scene to the crucifixion and to today.

My thought is that we still don’t “Behold the Human.” We don’t behold the humans we murder to maintain empire, the humans we murder to maintain racist, classist, nationalistic structures, the murders we condone make to maintain gun rights. If we truly beheld their humanity, if we truly acknowledged their immeasurable value, the Image of God stamped on the bodies and souls, then we wouldn’t rush to resurrection, to green eggs and ham. We wouldn’t get in the car to drive to the beach.

The Ecce Homo is a commandment, from the mouth of a governor, pointing to God in human flesh, falling on ears that will not listen.

Ears that do not understand.

I return to Jesus’s words during the Holy Thursday reading:

“You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.”

-John 13:7

Published by Jonathan

I'm a Rural theologian, Methodist studies professor, and Christian Educator. I also love hiking, gardening, and cooking.

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