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.
The case was shut and the last chance was gone, and Pilate uttered the terrible formula, "Go, soldier; get the cross ready!" The cross, perhaps, was found on a pile of grim lumber in some prison yard not far off. Perhaps it was a bole of some common tree, with the boughs lopped off and the bark left on. This log and its transverse beam had to be roughly knocked together at the place of crucifixion — not before. Some officer would say to the man and his mates who went for it: "You may as well bring two other crosses, for there are two other men to be crucified, and we may as well put them all three to death together, and so save trouble." Meanwhile, there stands Jesus meekly waiting, still thorn-crowned — for, when the soldiers took away the fantastic robe they did not take away (according to any evidence that we have) the crown of thorns. Then the two convicts are fetched out, and yonder they slouch. Ah! I can almost see the two horrors — two hard, white-grey cruel faces, two pairs of eyes that shift and shine under two shocks of rough wild hair. Now all is ready. The three are formed into a line, each one carrying a part of his cross, and each one has slung before him, from his neck, a board whitened with gypsum, on which you see his name and crime scored in great red letters. A centurion, on horseback, goes first; and then comes the Holy One, sinking under the shaft of His cross. The crier walks by His side, shouting, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews! Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews!" The second man comes after Him, and the third man after him, attended in like manner. As they stagger slowly along, all the reeking, ragged lazzaroni swarm out in larger numbers from the slums of outcast Jerusalem, leaping, laughing, swearing, and playing off practical jokes upon one another.
(Charles Stanford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.