There is a very interesting and very important detail included in Mark’s account of the mocking, scourging, and subsequent crucifixion of Jesus. In Mark 15:20 it says: “And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him and led him out to crucify him.” This is very important because Mark is trying to tell us that Jesus was intent upon being Himself. He was intent upon being the kind of King He was and not the kind of King the people imagined. They put Him in a purple robe and mocked Him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews . . .” (Mark 15:18).
Being who we are is difficult in this world. People are always trying to get us to be something or somebody other than who we really are. They will say, “You remind me of . . .” or “He/she looks just like. . .”. When we try to be authentic to who we really are it can sometimes become offensive and objectionable to people. Jesus also experienced this. Mark tells us earlier that when Jesus returned home to Nazareth and announced that the Spirit of the Lord had anointed Him to preach the gospel to the poor, the people were offended at Him (Mark 6:3).
It is so important to be who we really are. There’s no point in trying to imitate anybody or to give in to the pressure of trying to be or to act like other folks think we should. We will never be another person. God has made each one of us to be a unique person. It is out of our own uniqueness that we make the contribution to the world that God intended for us to make. When we fail to be whom God has made us, we fail to make our contribution to the world.
Jesus did not give in to this pressure to be the kind of King the world wanted Him to be. He went to Calvary in His own clothes. They may not have been as fine as the purple robe of Caesar, but it was His. He did not pretend to be our Savior. He was authentic to who He was. He was the real deal. And in this He is challenging each of us to be the real deal. No phoniness. No pretense. No hypocriting. No sham. No shame. We are all unique. We are all children of God. Like Jesus, let us embrace our uniqueness with gratitude to God and be the real deal.