Ecce Homo (Behold the Man)
The title of this piece, Ecce Homo, is the Latin for the words spoken by Pontius Pilate when he presents Christ to the angry crowd of people who are demanding his execution. In this moment, as Pontius Pilate asks the crowd to “behold the man,” he is asking for their further judgement on a man who has already been beat and humiliated. This is the moment right before his official condemnation to a horrific death by crucifixion. Jesus knows what is coming. He stands humble and quiet before them, his heart full of mercy. He is ready to do what he has been sent to earth to do. In my personal meditation on this portion from the life of Christ I see him standing strong and brave. In the biblical telling of this scene he has already endured much suffering before this moment: his body has been scourged, flesh ripped open, his head has been crowned with thorns by this point as they worked to break his spirit by mocking him, so he would have been standing in front of the crowd covered in wounds and looking very weakened. This sculpture is not meant to represent the physical reality of Jesus in that moment as much as the spiritual reality of the man, who was also God, sent to save the very men who were condemning him. I represented his body strong and beautiful to show the spiritual strength within, his shoulders broad, ready to carry the weight of the cross that would soon dig into them, his face full of knowing and mercy. The pose he stands in shows the burden and suffering already weighing down on him, but also his open willingness to accept more. So, behold the man, behold the divine man who went through all of this for you, behold the strength and mercy of the man who would carry the cross of your salvation and who asks you only to rely on his strength to carry the crosses of your life.