Soldiers are not heroes

in the Gospel of Saint John, the story of the passion of the Christ.

John 18: “So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees  and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons….”

Taking of Christ, Caravaggio, 1602

Taking of Christ, Caravaggio, 1602

…So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound him, and brought him to Annas first.

…And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, Hail, King of the Jews! And they struck him repeatedly.”

thorns

jesus“Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and that they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,  and immediately blood and water flowed out.”

Painting by James Jacques Tissot (French painter and illustrator, 1836-1902).

Painting by James Jacques Tissot (French painter and illustrator, 1836-1902).

John 19: “When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, “ in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says: They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots…”

casting lots

“This is what the soldiers did.”

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