The Crown of Thorns
The Crown of Thorns is a Testimony of the Thorns
Matthew 27:27-31 Introduction
As we talked about last week, it is important for children to learn the significance of what we are doing in worship. But it is just as important for us to understand the
significance of many Bible truths which may escape us. Today I want us to
learn something special about the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus,
especially as it relates to the crown of thorns that He wore on that day.
The thorns that Jesus wore at Calvary defiantly or without any doubt carry a testimony of love and grace. Lets looks at the testimony of the thorns.
I. How The Thorns Speak of Condemnation
II. How The Thorns Speak Of Anticipation
III. How The Thorns Speak Of Adoration
IV. How The Thorns Speak Of Invitation
Among the sufferings which our Lord endured for our sins, was the horrible experience of the crown of thorns which was pressed upon His head. Our Lord had been arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas had betrayed the Lord with a kiss. And literally, Judas kissed heaven's door and then went to hell. Like many who get close enough to embrace Jesus but then withdraw and never fully accept Him as Savior and Lord.
After Jesus was arrested, He was taken through the process of a mock, counterfeit, series of trials. He ended up before Pilate who realized Jesus was not guilty of anything but Pilate desperately wanted to please the people. What a shame, Pilate was so near to Christ and Salvation, but for popularity he turned away. God hardened his heart! You know there are many who feel the impulse to embrace Jesus but stumble because they are worried about what someone may think about them.
We read that Pilate said he washed his hands of the matter, “as if” anyone can actually wash their hands of Jesus. He appealed to the crowd and they shouted, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" He wanted to please man, and this world. So Pilate turned Jesus over to the soldiers and the horror began in earnest.
The soldiers made sport of our Lord. They put a robe on Him to simulate the regal robe of a King. >>”If only” they could have seen the Robe He left in glory when He departed for earth to be our Savior. If only they could have known that He really was a King - No! Not just a king, but THE KING!
Then they took a thorn bush, a native plant in this area, in fact as I read the Bible it might be called cthe national flower of Israel, and from it wove together a crown of thorns and pressed them down upon His brow. The blood IM sure rushed out and down through His hair, down into His eyes and ears, down into his beard like a mighty waterfall. If only they could have known that the blood spilling from Jesus that day was a waterfall, it was the Water of Life, it was the flow of >>grace across His precious face!
They put a reed in His hand to symbolize the staff of a king. Bowing down, they mocked Him. If only they could have known that He “was” worthy of their bowing; and that one day every knee will bow to Jesus and exclaim that He is Lord “to” the glory of God the Father. And then.. they led Him out to die upon the cross.
I want us to concentrate a few moments on that crown of thorns upon the head of our Lord. Think with me about the message from that crown. Let those thorns speak to your heart today. Ask yourself what do they say today to us? Take a moment this morning and ask yourself what does the testimony of the thorns say to us today.
I. The Thorns Speak of Condemnation
In Genesis 3:17-19 we read
The thorns were a direct result of sin. The thorn with its horrible piercing point is a symbol of what sin does to the soul. The thorn is part of the condemnation upon us and this world for sin. Think of Jesus, the King of Glory, wearing a Crown of Thorns upon the cross. This speaks of the condemnation He was willing to accept for our sins.
Thorns have always been part of the condemnation of God against sinful activity. Look at Joshua 23:13, "
God said that enemies were to be thorns in the eye to the nation that had forgotten Him!
Some people think wickedness is pleasure, and it is for a season. But when we walk down the path of sin we soon begin to step on the thorns of God's condemnation. Look at Proverbs 22:5
Thorns are a sign of the condemnation and anger of the Lord. In Jeremiah 12:13 we read, "
Other verses could be pointed out, but I think you have got the point.
Thorns indicate the anger of the Lord against sin.
So Jesus had a crown of thorns placed on His head. But wait, He knew no sin. He committed no sin. Precisely! He took the thorns which were really ours to bear. He became our substitute. The testimony of the thorns says to us today that those thorns should have been shoved into our head, our brow, but they were placed on His brow instead. He who knew no sin became sin for us. All the wrath of God was placed on Jesus. That’s why we sing, Lifted up was He to die, It is finished was His cry, Hallelujah, what a Savior.
II. The Thorns Speak Of Anticipation
We cannot look upon the crown on the head of Jesus without thinking of a day yet to come. You see, on that day long ago, Jesus wore a crown of thorns for us. But He knew one glorious day He would wear another crown - a crown of glory. In fact, crowned with many crowns. The hymn writer wrote, Crown Him with many crowns, the Lord upon His thorn.
Indeed, He was to be crowned with many crowns. Look at Revelation 19:12, "His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but He himself." The testimony of the thorns speak to us today of a great anticipation, Knowing as we do that;
The first time He came, He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
The next time He comes, He will ride on a white stallion.
The first time He came, He was judged by men.
The next time He comes, He will judge all men.
The first time He came, He wore a crown of thorns.
The next time He comes, >>>>He . will . wear . the . royal crown of victory!
Are you ready if He should come back today? Let the crown of thorns serve as a reminder that He will never wear them again. He is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. All authority is given unto Him in heaven and earth. And we, what are we to do because of it; we are to let everything that has breathe praise the Lord. Because He wore that crown for us. Knowing as we do today that He now wears the royal crown of victory.
III. The Thorns Speak Of Adoration
The thorns were worn by our Lord because of His great love for us. You need to know that the thorns He wore were not the little briers like those we see in some movies, the Passion, and the Gospel of John portrayed these well. These were not those tiny menacing little stickers which draw a little blood and sting al little. The thorns in Israel grow like spikes. They were known to wound terribly and even kill if plunged into a vital organ. Jesus bore thorns on His head that were probably two or three inches long. When pressed down upon the head, it would feel like a ring of nails going down to the skull level.
Why would Jesus do such a thing? Because He is love! John 3:16 tells us that. The suffering He endured “speaks” of His love for ruined sinners. And “we” know that we do not deserve such love. His creation, distorted from our original shape, tarnished beyond recognition. You and I included. A mangled mess of humanity. A far cry from the Image , the likeness of Gen 1:26. And God still loved us.
We have to understand that that's exactly what we're talking about when we speak of what Jesus did for us? Indeed, though Jesus did even more than that for us, more than loved us. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, when the Eternal God, holy and exalted, above sin, without the taint of iniquity in heaven above, looked down at our misshapen, malformed sinful selves. Jesus did not turn away from us. He didn’t just love us; He placed the kiss of grace on us and received us. On the Cross, our Lord Jesus Christ stretched out His hands, embraced us everyone, and it was heaven kneeling down to plant upon our worthless lips the kiss of the Divine.
The crown of thorns means to us today, that heaven was willing to stoop to any level to reclaim creation, all the way to us.
IV. Finally, The Thorns Speak Of Invitation
Then and today, this very morning, the thorns invite us to come to Jesus. He calls all who would be saved to come to Him and receive life, to receive forgiveness. Evangelist D. L. Moody once told a story about two men who, under the influence of liquor, found their way to the dock where their boat was tied. The two men wanted to return home, so they got in the boat and began to row. Though they rowed hard all night, they did not reach the other side of the bay. When the gray dawn of the morning broke, they were in exactly the same spot from which they started. They had neglected to untie the boat and raise the anchor!
Rev. Moody used this story as an example of the way in which many people are tied to this world. They want to go to heaven, but won't cast off what holds them back.. "Cut the cord! Cut the cord!" Moody it is said would roar. And yes, that is what we should do, cut the cord with the world and flee to the One who wore the crown of thorns for us.
Stop rowing the boat, and step into the lifeboat God has provide in His Holy Spirit, He will get us safely home! Accept the kiss of the one who wore the crown of thorn for you.