In the story of Christ’s crucifixion, the Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’s head to mock him because he was known as “the King of the Jews”. They did not know that they were not only fulfilling prophecy but that there was also a very deep spiritual meaning to what they were doing.
Thorns in the Bible are used to represent sin, suffering, or punishment. Thorns also seem to be part of a curse, that is connected with sin as in Genesis 3:17-18 and Judges 9.
Isaiah 55 is a chapter about calling people to repent and come into a joyful relationship with God. It ends with the declaration that thorns and briars can become like noble cypress trees, which were used for worship instruments and to build the temple… or like a myrtle, which represents the lowly loveliness of Israel and the Bride of Messiah.
The first mention of thorns in the Bible is in Genesis 3:18, where they were a part of the curse of the soil owing to Adam’s sin. The verse says: “Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth.” Whether this punishment was abrogated in Genesis 8:21, or not is debatable, for here God says: “I will never again curse the ground because of man.”
One of the more familiar scenes from Christ’s passion was the mocking by the Roman soldiers during Christ’s trial under Pontius Pilate is recorded in all four Gospels.
In John 19:2
it states “And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.”
In this passage, the author is using the simile of thorns. If you understand the Judean culture, purple robes were only worn by the king or very high officials. The soldiers were not aware of what they were doing but there actually crowning Jesus as the “King of Sin” so that when he was crucified it would symbolize the ending of death caused by sin, it would also replace all sacrifices for the remission of sin, and give us an avenue to be forgiven of our sins by believing in Jesus without going through animal sacrifice. To think of all the sin, all the weight of the curses that should have fallen upon us, digging into his flesh… drawing his blood from his precious head… flowing for us, for our forgiveness. That crown of thorns not only holds both the evil of our sin and the curse that we deserve, but also the majesty of the one who willingly paid for it on our behalf.
Throughout the centuries a lot of religions have come up with all kinds of different ways with things that we have to do to obtain eternal life and be forgiven of our sins. The truth of the matter is there is only one way to be forgiven of our sense and that is to accept Christ as our personal savior and live by the standards set up in the Bible. There is no plan B!
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