What a mockery it was to weave together a crown made of thorns, thistles, and briars and place upon the head of Jesus while He was tortured and crucified. As wicked men placed this “halo from hell” on His brow, they cried “Hail to the King” in relentless ridicule and scorn.
Having already suffered the lashes of a lethal whip and the bruises of calloused fists, Jesus was almost beyond recognition with His swollen eyes and lacerated cheekbones. An uncaring soldier had thrown the Master’s own scarlet robe around His blood-soaked back, while another placed a reed between His tender hands bound by filthy ropes. Just then, some uncaring man with a warped sense of humor and a propensity for sadistic amusement said, “Let’s top it off with this!” as he thrust the thorn-made crown onto the brow of the Christ.
What a horrific sight it must have been! It’s beyond description. Isaiah tried when, through prophetic vision, he saw a “wounded lamb led to the slaughter.” He also spoke of Jesus being as a “root plucked out of dry ground.” He said He had no form nor beauty about Him, and we hid our faces from Him.
Before Jesus experienced the wounds of the nails driven into His flesh, He felt the excruciating pain of the thorns. Traditional history indicates that it could have been a thorn known as the Arabian Natha, a hard and lengthy “nail-like” thorn. It had no flexibility that would allow it to be weakened when it met the surface of another object. It must surely have had a deep penetrating presence. How our Master must have grimaced in agony!
It must have been an ugly thing; almost a reject of nature, these thorns. An ugly, embarrassing reminder of the curse that God put on the ground when Adam and Eve sinned against Him in the Garden. Reminds me of a picture of sin itself … unrelenting, harsh and ugly … sinister, having no pleasant purpose, and … bringing pain to everything it touched.
A Crown of Thorns.
That’s what “kissed” His brow that day on Calvary.
But that was then …
What a difference resurrection makes!
What a difference God’s plan in eternity makes!
What a difference reading the end of the book makes!
No, not this book.
THE BOOK! Revelation 5:9 … “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth!”
Crowns. Crowns. Crowns.
The crown of John’s description was seen as golden and bedecked with rare jewels. This royal diadem in and of itself is a powerful message in eternity.
It says “righteousness prevails over evil.” It will happen. Don’t let the little temporary wins of the enemy set you back. Battles may be lost occasionally, but the war is already won. You may say the fight is “fixed.” The Bible says so in 1 John 4:4: “Ye are of God … because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” David even asked, “Why do the heathen rage and the wicked prosper?”
I suppose to the natural eye it would seem that sometimes life just isn’t fair … who said it ever would be? Doesn’t matter. We still win!
Honor overpowers shame and disgrace. Christ emptied himself totally in order to bring us the abundance of living. Paul said in Philippians 2:8 … “He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Think of it. The great majestic Prince of Heaven was suspended between earth and heaven.
Man was at his worst as he humiliated our Savior at Golgotha.
But, Paul went on to say that because of Christ’s great obedience, God had now highly exalted Him and given Him a name that is above every name. And every knee will bow to Him and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord!
God also has a way of bringing honor out of your own “crucifixion.” The devil himself will soon have to acknowledge that you are a greater champion than even he thought you were.
Victory ultimately rises out of struggle. Resurrection follows crucifixion. A renewal is on its way. I’m often amazed as I walk along and see a blade of grass or even a flower that has managed to sprout through the pavement. I ponder it when I see it.
Likewise, God has given you the inward strength by His Holy Spirit to persevere and push. Never let quitting become an option for you. This time of struggle may not pass as quickly as you would hope, but if it doesn’t, you will find that even in the midst of it you can “break through” to magnificent victory.
The crown is worth the conflict, struggle, and pain. One has your name on it. It’s being polished even now and when you get it, know that it is only part of your reward for being true and faithful. The greatest reward will come when you are permitted to take it off your own head and lay it at Jesus’ feet.