Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

To the Roman soldiers assigned to handle Jesus, it must not have been enough that He had been sentenced to death. In the isolation of the governor’s headquarters, unmoved by His ministry and innocence, they felt free to do whatever they wanted.

Taunting, they dressed Him in a purple robe and “wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head” (NLT). Then, they struck and spit on Him. Before leading Him to be crucified, in mockery, they worshipped Him. They could not have known that, through their actions, they were fulfilling prophecy (Isaiah 53:4-5).

This moment became a particular inspiration for artist Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez. Born in Seville, Spain, in 1599, he gained fame particularly for portraits while in the service of Spain’s King Philip IV.

Velázquez clearly was moved by the way the Roman soldiers treated Jesus, and made this the subject of one of his most noted works, “Christ contemplated by the Christian Soul.” Jesus dominates the painting, His face revealing pain and agony, His hands tied to a column in the Praetorium. The floor surrounding Him is filled with whips and ropes.

But our eyes are drawn to a simple child kneeling beside Jesus. This child is meant to represent every person. An angel looks over the child’s shoulder, suggesting how each of us should ponder Jesus’ agony and death.

This painting is a reminder that all of us are like this child, needing to focus on Jesus. To remember His suffering and death. To realize that He died for each of us. For you!