“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews.’”
— Matthew 27:27-30
There is one detail of the scourging of Jesus by the Roman soldiers before His trial which has caused me deep personal concern. The Scriptures say, “and they put a reed in his right hand.” (Matthew 27:29) That was a crowning mockery. What those soldiers substituted for a king’s scepter was a weak reed.
What honor is there in a weak reed? It bears no significance. For the most part, such a reed would go unnoticed. Like the soldiers, is that what we offer to the Savior? Is He of no real significance to us? Does He go unnoticed in our daily lives?
What power is there in a weak reed? Such a reed is bent by the slightest puff of wind. Is our association with Jesus so anemic that the slightest trial, the slightest puff of wind bends our identification with Him?
What control is there in a weak reed? It is but one of many in our world. It has no uniqueness, no outstanding virtue. Is our offering to the Savior characterized as “one of many?” In other words could we be found to offer such to any other or be devoted to anything as we are to Christ? Does our recognition of who Jesus really is hold great sway and influence over our lives – our world?
The weak reed is a slap in the face. What should be placed in the hand of our Lord? The old hymn answers best:
“Love so amazing so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”