Why Was His Crown Made Of Thorns?

This is one of the most familiar images of the crucifixion but have we ever considered the symbolism of those thorns? Think about it, a crown  which is a symbol of royalty, power, kingship and wealth, yet not made with gold or jewels, but thorns. Why?

The first thing that probably comes to mind is that it was a way of mocking His claim as a King but when viewed through the lens of the whole of Scripture, the crown of thorns has another deeper symbolic meaning, It was a crown of curse to be worn by the One who took our curse.

This immediately takes us back to Genesis, reminding us of why Jesus went to the cross, to take the penalty for sin on our behalf. The thorns of His crown were a sign of the curse, the sign of the fallen world since the disobedience of Adam and Eve in Genesis.

He became Our King of thorns. Thorns speak of pain and tears. So this crown means He bore the pain and tears of fallen man.They speak of piercing, so He was pierced. They are linked to the curse which is linked to death. He bore the weight of that curse upon His head as He gave up His life.

This crown was not just a twisted garland of prickly barbs, like that of a blackberry bush. Rather, it was a brutal instrument that caused much anguish. The crown is said to have been made from the branches of a Jujube tree, a deciduous tree found near Jerusalem, with thorns measuring an inch long or more.

He had the burden of the sins of the whole world on His mind as they jammed that makeshift crown of one inch twisting thorns on His head, each thorn pressing into His temple as the blood flowed from His brow.

Willie Nelson has written a song “You were always on my mind” but you were always on Jesus’ mind even from the book of Genesis. A gospel song penned the same sentiment “When He was on the cross you were on His mind”

He became the King of the pierced and wounded, the King of the rejected and King of tears. But The One who bore this crown has authority over these things…. to turn sorry into joy, death into life and thorns into blossoms.

Isa 53:4-6 Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows:yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isn’t it significant that while bearing the sins of the whole world, Jesus wore on His head this crown of piercing thorns, a symbol of the curse brought about because of man’s sin in Genesis 3?

The soldiers did it to amuse themselves, but the Gospels include this as a significant part of Jesus’ trial. While intended to be a mockery, the crown of thorns was, in fact, an excellent symbol of who Jesus is and what He came to accomplish. I suspect that all the gospels include it because it has an ironic truth — Jesus is the King, and yet His rule would be preceded by rejection, ridicule and suffering. He has a crown of thorns because He is the ruler of a world filled with pain, and as the King of this corrupt world, He established His right to rule by experiencing pain himself. He was crowned with thorns that He might have authority over pain and death.

The crown of thorns has meaning for our lives, too — it is not just part of a movie scene in which we are overwhelmed with the suffering that Jesus went through to be our Savior. Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, we must take up our cross each day — and He could just as easily have said that we must bear our thorns. For example look at the life of Paul’s thorn in the flesh 2 Corinthians12:7 We are joined to Jesus in the crucible of suffering. Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Those wanting to be a part of his Kingdom must be joined with the crucified Christ, even in His suffering.

We all experience our crowns of thorns. We all have our crosses to bear. We all live in this fallen world and take part in its pain and sorrow.

It is no surprise that humanity, still alienated from God, rejected Him and expressed it with thorns and death at the time of His crucification

Jesus embraced that rejection — accepted the crown of thorns — as part of His bitter cup of enduring what humans endure, so that He could open the door for us to escape with Him from this world of tears.

But the crown of thorns and the cross of death have met their match in Jesus. Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

The Roman soldiers unknowingly took an object of the curse and fashioned it into a crown for the One who would deliver us from that curse. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’”Galatians 3:13. Christ, in His perfect atoning sacrifice, has delivered us from the curse of sin, of which a thorn is a symbol.

And yet, though Jesus suffered for a time beneath that curse, His death and resurrection paved the way for those that believe on Him to be set free from the power of sin. At His ascension, Jesus took His rightful place, seated at the right hand of God. The Roman soldiers may have inaugurated him in mockery, but Jesus truly is the King of Kings.

He will one day return as King of Kings and Lord of lords. But he will not be wearing a crown of thorns. Rather, Jesus will be crowned with glory and honor, gathering to Himself those who suffered with Him, and offering each a crown of life.

CHALLENGE: So did you ever wonder why Jesus wore a crown made of thorns?

See also “The Beauty of the thorns”http://margaretmearnsbass.com/2013/04/23/beauty-of-the-thorns/

Develop a Lasting Love in your Marriage

As we celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary on July 18th this year

we rejoice at God’s blessing and grace on our years together.

 1964 AGAPE, PHILEO AND EROS LOVE led us to 2016

                We are brother and sister in the Lord, we are best friends and we are lovers.

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In the Greek language AGAPE – PHILEO – EROS –  are all words for love, yet each displaying a different character of love.

AGAPE – Displays the character of God for God is love. It’s the love that cannot be earned, an unconditional love with acceptance and  forgiveness.

Agape love is displayed in a marital union of two good forgivers who learn to seek forgiveness and offer forgiveness, accepting the shortcomings in each other. As both spouses move towards God they are also moving closer to each other as His character is formed in them.

It is available to us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is the power of being like-spirited as we pray together, minister together and serve one and other.

PHILEO – Displays the character of friendship. Unlike agape love phileo love has to be earned as it involves trust. It is earned as we learn to trust one another through communicating from the depths of our hearts. Trusting our spouses with our deep wounds, our aspirations, passions and dreams. Never leave your heart unspoken for it displays your heart to your spouse.

Your spouse should be your most trusted and best friend. A relationship where you laugh together, cry together, play together and support  each other’ dreams.

It has been said that “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”. Friedrich Nietzsche

It is the power of being like-minded as you have fun together sharing and supporting each others’ hobbies, passions and dreams.

EROS –   Displays the character of romantic and sexual love. Eros love is like a phileo friendship love caught on fire. Keep the fire lit in your marriage and your life will be filled with warmth.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin

The Eros love is the only love that makes your marriage different and unique than any other relationship, that is why it is so important to keep romance alive. Light the candles, turn on the music and keep that flame burning brightly.

It is the power of physical attraction and the consummation of body, soul and spirit.

“To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule:  Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart – about a finger’s breadth – for breathing room.  Good fire, good marriage, same rule.”  ~Marnie Reed Crowell

 A  successful marriage needs all three “loves” to hold it together. As we love God with our body, soul and spirit, likewise we need to love our spouses with our body, soul and spirit. Now we’re talking unity!  In fact the unity in our marriage is a witness to the world of the mystical union of Christ and His church according to Ephesians 5:23

CHALLENGE: “A marriage is not a noun. It isn’t something you are. It is a verb. It’s the way you love your partner everyday with AGAPE, PHILEO and EROS love.

 

What Influence Did Prince William of Orange Have on the USA?

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Today in Belfast, Northern Ireland one of the world’s largest parades is taking place to commemorate the victory of Protestant Prince William of Orange over Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, who had wanted to return England back to Roman Catholicism. Grand Lodges and parades are celebrated in Scotland, England, the United States of America, West Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the largest parade being held in Belfast today with hundred of thousands marching.

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What has this to do with the USA?

William and his wife Mary signed the English Bill of Rights of 1689. This action both signaled the end of several centuries of tension and conflict between the crown and parliament, and the end of the idea that England would be restored to Roman Catholicism after the many years of blood being shed of so many martyrs to usher in the reformation. So Protestants herald King William as a champion of their faith and freedom.

What has this to do with the USA?

Well, this Bill of Rights was an Act of the Parliament of England requiring the monarch to rule based on “the laws and customs … of Rights, which in turn influenced the American Declaration of Independence almost verbatim.

The Declaration of Independence which was penned by the Scotch- Irish hand of Thomas Jefferson who was influenced and modeled that important historical document after that Bill of Rights of Prince William of Orange with reference to the Treaty of Arbroath signed in 1320 in Scotland. At least 27 of the signatures on the Declaration of Independence were Ulster Scottish Presbyterians.

King William’s supporters refer to him as King Billy. Since many Ulster Scots settled in Virginia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas, they became known as “Hill Billies” since they lived in the hills and sang songs about their hero King Billy.

Did you know that Williamsburg Virginia is named after King William?

Did you know that on February 8, 1693, King William III and Queen Mary II signed the royal charter for a “perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good Arts and Sciences” to be founded in the Virginia Colony? And William & Mary College was born. Their names are lent to the second institution of higher learning in the United States,namely, the College of William and Mary.

Princeton New Jersey was originally named Prince Town after King William.

Ulster Scottish Presbyterians founded the College of New Jersey in 1746 in order to train ministers. The college was the educational and religious capital of Scots-Irish America. In 1756, the college moved to Princeton, New Jersey. Its home in Princeton was Nassau Hall, named for the royal House of Orange-Nassau of King William III.

Many highways, towns and at least 9 States have “Orange counties” named in honor of King William and the freedom he won for the followers of the reformation faith in 1690.

So now you know the rest of the story!

Appreciating my Heritage. 

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Celebrating the Orange Twelfth of July in the Braveheart Highland Pub in Hellertown Pa.

Remembering the great victory of Protestant Prince William of Orange over Catholic King James in 1690 at the Boyne.

Happy Twelfth of July to all my exile fellow Ulster Scots throughout the world and my family in Belfast.

Miss being with you all and the sounds of the Flute and Pipe Bands parading up Royal Avenue participating in one of the largest parades in the world.

Never take for granted the freedom of your faith. It is part of your heritage but was handed down to you at great price! No surrender!

Celebrating 54 Years of Marriage

Grateful for God’s faithfulness as we stand at the same altar in Norwich England where the journey of our story started 54 years ago.

“Love is not love when it alteration finds or bends with the remover to remove

Oh no, it is the ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken!”

William Shakespeare Sonnet 116