The Crown of Thorns

Matthew 27:11-31

As we’ve reflected on the Pieces of the Passion in our LEGO Lent, so far our stories haven’t had any physical implication. Sure, Jesus spoke of the coming torture of the cross. Sure, Jesus felt the sting of pain as Judas kissed his teacher and friend, betraying our Lord. But now there are physical consequences, as the Crown of Thorns is placed upon Jesus’ head.

Can you imagine . . . .

  • The discomfort . . . as those first few spars began to tug on his hair?
  • The pressure . . . as it was forced snuggly on his head?
  • The pain . . . as the thorns began to cut into his skin?
  • The searing agony . . . as they embedded into his scalp?

What rightfully should have been a crown of glory, what should have been a crown made of the purest of gold, what should have been a crown covered in the rarest of gems, what should have been a crown fitting for the King of kings and our Lord of lords, what should have been is a far cry from the vines of the brier patch that are now weaved into a crown of mockery. 

But why thorns? 

From the very beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, back when everything was perfect and beautiful just as God intended, in entered into the world as Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. The eyes of both were opened. Now they realized they were naked and afraid. Fear and anxiety crept in.  The unknown stood before them.  It was the world’s first pandemic and we have been battling it ever since.

As God approached Adam and Eve hiding in the brush, asking the question:  “Where are you, What have you done?” With one excuse after the other, God listens . . . then God condemns:

  • Eve with painful childbirth.
  • Adam with the toil of heavy labor and hard work
  • The serpent to crawl on his belly being despised by all mankind
  • And the ground . . .

 We don’t often think of the ground as being condemned, but the very earth that bore to life the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is condemned: God says: “cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you.” Genesis 3:17-18

These thorns and thistles, woven into a crown are a reminder of the sin once committed by Adam and Eve.  The same sin that you and I find ourselves in bondage to day after day.  Thousands of centuries after the banishment from the Garden of Eden, the sin and Adam and Eve, take the form of a crown, and are carried to the cross on our behalf.

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