Saturday, April 07, 2007

Thorns

Michael Lawrence gave a powerful Good Friday meditation last night. Below is my summary of it:
Matt. 27:29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
When the Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns of Jesus' head, their intent wasn't simply pain. After all, Jesus had already been flogged and beaten. Rather, they wanted to make a point. Jesus had claimed to be a king, when there was only one king, Caesar. Caesar wore a crown of laurels covered in gold, signifying his dominion over the Roman empire. For this impostor king, they would find him a crown of thorns, in order to show the utter ridiculousness of his claims. But what the soldiers never realized was that this crown of thorns was the most fitting crown he could have worn.

Throughout Scripture, we see that thorns are a picture of futility and frustration, and are good for nothing except to be burned. Unlike the rest of the plants and trees, thorns were not created on the third day of creation. God's creation of the world consisted only of that which was good. It was only when Adam rejected God's authority and chose his own way by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, that God curses the ground with thorns. Indeed, with Adam's sin, he has begun a new path of independence away from God. It is only then, that God curses the ground with a new plant, namely thorns and thistles. Adam's rebellion produces something new in God's creation and the futility and worthlessness of these newly-created thorns and thistles become a powerful picture of the futility and worthlessness created by sin. This picture is replayed everyday in our lives, when we sow the seeds of our sin and reap a harvest of frustration and heartache.

And it was for sinners, wallowing in this world of cursed futility, that Jesus Christ came to save. The King to whom all allegiance is owed, came to bear the curse that rebels deserved for their rebellion against Him. The One who wore a crown of infinite glory, laid it aside in order to wear a crown of thorns on his brow. And on the cross, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us". And in doing so, He ushers in a new Kingdom where those who will place their trust in him will one day inherit a world free of all thorns and thistles.... a Kingdom where we will one day wear not a crown of thorns, but a crown of glory... a Kingdom where we will no longer rebel against our King, but will lay our crowns down at His feet.
Heb. 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

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