The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Praetorium–Pilate’s official headquarters, doubled as a fortress. The whole battalion would have 120-200 soldiers.
Brutalization. Jesus had been flogged with a leather whip, interwoven with bits of bone and metal, which ripped skin and tissue, often exposing bone and intestines.
They find the idea of this brutalized man being King amusing. They rip off his clothes, and in unknowing prophetic mockery, stick a scarlet robe–outer cloak of a Roman soldier–also a symbol of kingship on him. Stick a crown of thorns on his head, and hit him on the head over the thorns. Rip the robe off again, which had probably stuck to the bloody flesh.
Of course, unbeknownst to them, the scarlet robe, the crown and the sceptre proved prophetic.
Through all this, Jesus remains silent.
I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.