Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
"Crown of Thorns"
Mar. 18, 2018
Read John 19:1-5
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Behold the man!"
~ John 19:5 (ESV)
Where I grew up there is a little desert plant called "crown of thorns." It has long spidery branches so covered in thorns you can't even touch the bark. Bright green leaves grow toward the ends of the branches, and small red flowers -- round and bright, like drops of blood.
The thorns are a reminder of God's original judgment on the sin of Adam and Eve: "Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you.... By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:17b-18a, 19)
Every generation knows the truth of this. There is no work without thorns, no happiness unspoiled by sorrow. Every human being suffers pain. And we grieve all the more because the pain we suffer reminds us of our end: dust we are, and to dust we will return.
How fitting, then, that the Son of Man should wear a crown of thorns.
God cursed the ground because of human sin, but then He turned around and made Himself a man, was born a human baby subject to the same pain and suffering we are. God Himself took up our curse, bore our guilt -- wore our thorns.
Why would He do such a thing? There is no answer except for John 3:16: "God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." Jesus Christ, God-in-the-flesh, left His glory and came looking for us. He took up our sorrows and carried our griefs. The curse we earned fell upon Him, and He took it willingly -- even dying forsaken on a cross. All this He did to redeem us.
Now that Jesus has risen from the dead, He is seated at God's right hand in glory and majesty. But though He deserves every wonderful crown that exists, I doubt any will ever match the one He chose to wear for us.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You wore the thorns we earned. You did this because You loved us. How can we ever thank You enough? Amen.
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What is one of the thorns of the work you do, either in the home or out of it?