Reprinted with Permission by Christian Peacemaker Teams
The Tenth Station - Jesus is stripped before the crowd
by Jan Benvie
In a final attempt to humiliate Him, the Roman soldiers stripped Jesus of his clothing. Were they aware that they could have power over His body, but not His mind? Even in death He was still greater than they.
Our clothes are part of our identity. Stripped of our clothing we can be seen as worthless in worldly terms.
In Guantanamo Bay prison the US strips prisoners of any clothing that makes them identifiable as an individual human being. All prisoners must wear the same shapeless, orange jump suit.
In Abu Ghraib (Iraq) the US guards stripped prisoners naked in order to shame and humiliate them.
Throughout the world prisoners are regularly ‘strip searched’ for no good purpose other than to humiliate them.
At the numerous military checkpoints all over the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Israeli soldiers attempt to humiliate Palestinians by making them lift up, or sometimes remove their clothing. Any ‘security check’ deemed necessary could easily be carried out using a metal detector wand.
Despite the threat of these searches Palestinians continue to travel throughout their land. Here in Hebron Palestinians continue to come to the Ibrahimi mosque, to their shops in the Old City souq, and to live in their homes near the Israeli settlements, even with the risk of degrading searches at checkpoints. They stand firm and steadfastly refuse to be stripped of their dignity.
Just as we are called to accompany Christ on his road to crucifixion, so too we are called to accompany those who are stripped and humiliated by the powers of this world.