Jesus is stripped of his garments

Jesus looks straight ahead, his face showing resignation to his coming fate. The gaze of his executioners is split between their victim and the clothes they are removing, torn and bloodied as they must have been. The undergarment of Jesus being seamless, we are told, they cast dice for it. The minimal pay for soldiers of the time was augmented by the “spoils of war”, the possessions of the conquered going to the victors. The same applied for executions, though an Old Testament prophecy to be fulfilled may also have been of influence in John’s recalling of events. Once again a flower blooms at Jesus’ feet.

The lovely olive grove that we are now approaching is historic. The trees, aged and still productive, border an uneven brick paved pathway that led to a cowshed some fifty years ago, and perhaps to a gardener’s cottage before that – both still marked beyond the grove, by some signposted wrought iron and cement. The bricks were largely overlaid by soil until uncovered more recently in the landscaping of the Garden, and from the demolition of the cottage came the stone for the former grotto near the front gate. This stone now lines the paths in that area.

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