The flagellation of Christ is the beginning of the final turn to the End.
But the End is not near yet. The crowd must have fun in the process. The violence exercised against a defenseless victim is beyond description and comprehension. The flagellation first, then the crowning with thorns, then the carrying of the Cross up the hill, and, finally, the Crucufixion.
Modern day execution looks like an act of extreme Humanism biewed in the context of Jesus’ last hours before the Crucifixion.
τοτε απελυσεν αυτοις τον Βαραββαν, τον δε Ιησουν φραγγελωσας παρεδωκεν ινα σταυρωθη” (κατα Ματθαιον 27:26)
then released he Barabbas unto them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified (Mathew 27:26)
ο δε πιλατος βουλομενος τω οχλω το ικανον ποιησαι απελυσεν αυτοις τον βαραββαν και παρεδωκεν τον ιησουν φραγελλωσας ινα σταυρωθη (κατα Μαρκον 15 15)
Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified (Mark 15;15)
παιδευσας ουν αυτον απολυσω (κατα Λουκαν 23 16)
I will therefore chastise him and release him (Luke 23;16)
τοτε ουν ελαβεν ο πιλατος τον ιησουν και εμαστιγωσεν
και οι στρατιωται πλεξαντες στεφανον εξ ακανθων επεθηκαν αυτου τη κεφαλη και ιματιον πορφυρουν περιεβαλον αυτον
και ελεγον χαιρε ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων και εδιδουν αυτω ραπισματα
(κατα Ιωαννην 19 1-3)
Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
“The expression on Christ’s face shows his awareness of being scourged in order to fulfil the Old Testament prophecies. Yet his passion is more “active” than “passive.” Fried sees this in Christ’s right hand which willingly reaches for the broken reed as a mock scepter. Even more striking is the proximity of Christ’s hand to that of the seated, armor-clad figure to his left.” (Michael Fried, The “Moment” of Caravaggio)