(the "mocking of Christ" Matthias Grunewald 1503)
“They open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion” (Ps. 22:13)
Wherever the suffering Christ is found pouring himself out and preaching to His church, there you will find scoffers and those who seek to undermine the Gospel. It is a blessed and holy mark of the church to encounter those demonic forces that seek to disrupt and deceitfully ridicule our suffering Christ, directing us away from the holy sounds of His preaching and that blessed bread and blessed cup. Wherever we find opposition to those pure teachings of Christ, we can be certain that the living Christ is in our midst, highly exalting us by bringing us into His hallowed wounds. In those wounds there is glory and peace to His people on earth.
That ravening and roaring evil one, for all his dreadful noise and violent accusations, has been shut up and put on his belly to eat his share – the dust of death. And the portion of the Christian church is the Supper of immortal life given and shed for all open mouths in salutary eating and drinking.
During this Lenten season our Lord kindly invites us to put the names of our enemies unto our lips and bring them to His altar, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” and “forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” Lord, we pray that you quiet their mouths and place forgiveness unto their lacerating lips. Anoint their heads with the oil of divine mercy and join us all into that heavenly reconciliation. Amen.
“He bears the stripes, the wounds, the lies, The mockery, and yet replies, All this I gladly suffer” (LSB 438 stanza 1).