“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.” Matthew 27:28-31
Have you ever worn a crown of thorns? I did…right in the bargain aisle of a local flower and garden center. A complete stranger walked over to me and asked,
“Which one of these do you think would work for a crown of thorns?”
I looked around me to see if she was talking to someone else. She wasn’t. I was the only person in sight. How did she even know I’d know what she was talking about?
I figured the only way to accurately answer her query would be to place the wreath around my own head. So I did. First, I tried on the smaller crown, but it was even too small for my head. Next, I placed the larger one upon my head. We decided the larger version would be the right fit since the man portrayed as Jesus Christ in their musical choir play would also be wearing a wig.
I totally forgot what transpired until the next morning. As I prepared myself for Easter Sunday worship, yesterday’s odd scenario returned to my mind. The woman’s request in the bargain aisle took me by surprise. I certainly did not expect or anticipate wearing a “crown of thorns” the Saturday before Resurrection Sunday, nor at any time for that matter. My mind began comparing my experience with Jesus Christ’s experience over 2,000 years ago.
- I wore the “crown” for just a few minutes, and then effortlessly removed it from my head. After removing the “crown,” there were no visible signs I had ever donned the crown.
- In contrast, nothing Jesus experienced took him by surprise. All the events leading up to his crucifixion on the cross, including the Garden of Gethsemane prayer and betrayal kiss of death by his follower, Judas Iscariot, were detailed out long before the events unfolded. Jesus wore a real crown of prickly thorns till after his gruesome, painful death on a cross.
- My testing of the “crown” caused me no physical pain of any sort. As soon as I removed the crown, I moved on to the next item on my to-do list.
- In contrast, Jesus’ crown caused extreme physical pain and suffering. His entire body showed visible signs of damage and bloodshed.
- I soon forgot about the placement upon my brow almost as quickly as I removed it from my head.
- Christ’s suffering, due to the thorny crown and inhumane treatment by soldiers and onlookers will never be forgotten. Even today, his death, burial, and resurrection on the third day, affects all mankind. The decision to willingly lay down his life positively affects any who seek him and desire to be counted among his followers. Seek and you shall find, if you seek with all of your heart.
Jesus endured taunting and torture willingly. Humanly speaking, I cannot comprehend it, but I dare not shrug this sacrifice off non-chalantly. His endurance resulted in the free gift of salvation to all who accept this gift… “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
The physical and emotional pain Jesus Christ experienced does not even come close to anything I ever suffered (or will suffer). Jesus paid it all, and all to him I owe. He is our Great High Priest who knows all about grief and pain; he cares, and is the cure for anything you or I will ever experience here in this life on earth.