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Wednesday, April 5, 2023
"The Crown Of Thorns"
Message summary: This week we "consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men." One of the many abuses Jesus endured was the mocking crown of thorns.
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“And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” (John 19:2,3). “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9).
Oh they mocked Him and they beat Him
They pressed a crown of thorns upon His head
The church we served in New England, like many churches, has a large cross on the front wall behind the platform. One year Steve Higgins, a friend who is still very active in the church, made a crown out of thorny branches and we placed it on the cross as a reminder of the crown of thorns forcibly placed on the head of our Saviour during His passionate outpouring of love and forgiveness toward all who place their faith in Him. As I recall we left that thorny crown up even beyond the Easter season and perhaps it’s still there.
We’ve all probably been pierced by thorns at some point, especially if we enjoy walking in the woods. Physically touching the long sharp pointed thorns enhances one’s sensitivity of how such a crown of thorns would painfully pierce the brow of our Lord and Savior.
The Bible History online site makes this observation:
“His crown of thorns, the crown that fallen humanity placed on His head was an awful symbol showing man’s complete contempt for all that God loves and values. It was also emblematic of our Savior’s love for all of us and our minds which are deceived and pained by so much of this world’s lies. Perhaps it is also a vicarious witness that He bore the very thorns created by man’s original sin and rebellion in the garden, so that we might one day wear the crown of life and glory.”
Matthew, Mark and John all mention this degrading act. Matthew makes it clear that it was motivated by mockery. The mock crown was formed by twisting together thorny branches.
We wonder about these soldiers who "twisted together the crown of thorns". Did they joke around as they deviously fashioned this makeshift crown? Did they curse as they endured inevitable scratches and pricks while shaping the thorny branches? Which one of them creased the Lord’s brow with the crown of thorns?
Did any of them look on as blood splattered from the penetrating thorns that gouged His head and dripped down upon Jesus’ sacred face as “again and again they struck Him on the head with a staff and spit on Him” (Mark 15:19a)? Did one of the offenders realize that this One they treated so contemptuously was truly innocent?
This crown of thorns was indeed a mockery of His royalty. The soldiers placed it on His head and John indicates that He wore this crown when He came out from His trial with Pilate (John 19:5). Mark describes the blasphemous act of mockers as they “fell on their knees and paid homage to Him” (Mark 15:19b). (Note: Consider this in light of Philippians 2:9-11.)
But the writer of Hebrews writes of a crown that Jesus now wears as a direct result of His sacrificial, atoning death on the Cross. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9).
Today one of the grand songs of the Church is the hymn “Crown Him With Many Crowns”, a likely allusion to another crown in Revelation 4:9-11. Jesus Christ truly endured the enormous indignity of a crown of thorns mockingly placed on His head. Today let us reverently crown Him with many crowns as we place our faith in Him. Let us seek to live in a manner worthy of His sacrifice.
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne...
Crown Him the Lord of Love! Behold His hands and side…
Crown Him the Lord of life! Who triumphed o’er the grave…
Crown Him the Lord of heaven! One with the Father known…*
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, we crown You the Lord of love! Your love that endured the shameful actions of those You chose to die for. We crown You the Lord of life, for You triumphed o’er the grave and took away the permanence and sting of death for all believers. We crown You the Lord of heaven where You returned to be One with the Father. You’ve promised to return to earth again and take us to be with You where we will dwell eternally with You and all the saints whose sins are cleansed by the blood You shed on the cross of Calvary. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Crown Him With Many Crowns" Click to listen on YouTube Kingsway Music
* We just shared the first line in each verse at the end of our message.
"Resurrecting" Click to listen on YouTube We sing this song in our church and as Brooksyne was working on her part of today's message (editing) it came to mind due to these words.
The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now
The Savior knelt to wash our feet
Now at His feet we bow
(We are posting this information all through Holy Week)
The four gospels cover the life of Christ, a period of about 33 years. Most of this material deals with the 3½ year period of His ministry. However an astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the gospels deal with the period from Christ's triumphal entry through His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances. Mathematically this means that approximately 33% of the written material in the gospels deals with a mere .05% period of His life! In the providence of God we have a much greater proportion of material dealing with God's greatest act of mercy in providing our redemption.
Here's an interesting chart from the Life Application Study Bible that may be helpful as you study the Bible during this time. It sure helps me to have a sense of when the events took place and is inspiring to read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter.
Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19
Jesus Clears the Temple: Mt. 21:12,13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45,46
Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Mt. 21:23-27; Mk. 11:27-33; Lk. 20:1-8
Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Mt. 21:28-23:36; Mk. 12:1-40; Lk. 20:9-47
Greeks ask to see Jesus: Jn. 12:20-26
The Olivet Discourse: Mt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21:5-38
Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Mt. 26:14-16; Mk. 14:10,11; Lk. 22:3-6
The Last Supper: Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:14-20
Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room: Jn. 13-17
Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1
Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 18:2-12
Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Mt. 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mk. 14:53-15:20; Lk. 22:54-23:25; Jn. 18:13-19:16
Jesus is crucified and buried: Mt. 27:31-56; Mk. 15:20-41; Lk. 23:26-49; Jn. 19:17-30
The glorious resurrection: Mt. 28:1-10; Mk. 16:1-11; Lk. 24:1-12; Jn. 20:1-18
Yesterday, following an early morning chaplain visit, we rode the trails in Swatara State Park. It was a beautiful day with temps reaching into the seventies. We'll share some photos today and tomorrow.
The trail crosses Swatara Creek on this park bridge
Click on photo to enlarge
Along the trail we pass remnants of the old Union Canal along Swatara Creek built in the early 1800's.
Click on photo to enlarge
At the end of the trail we pass this once proud house that has been in slow motion ruin for many years. There must be a story on why it's not demolished!
Click on photo to enlarge
Wild flowers brighten the trail, a prelude to the season of spring and summer blossoms.
Click on photo to enlarge
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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