About two years ago I started a blog. I wrote mostly about issues that revolved around modern day Christianity. It scratched the itch in evangelicalism. It tackled theology and had a satirical twang to it at times. Okay most of the times. It took about a year to come up with a name for the blog.
Do you know how difficult it is to get a name for a blog? Hmm. I thought of cool names like “Elevation blog” or “Your best life now blog” or “Elephant in the blog” but I just thought I wouldn’t be able to live up to the hype. Or would I?
I will never be able to explain why I decided to call the blog Twisted Crown of Thorns and later A Twisted Crown of Thorns (as of 2012). I probably liked the irony in the name. In retrospect it almost sounds like a spoof rock and roll group band. It sounds dark … but light hearted. I have known of a few misguided wanderers who have adventurously stumbled onto the blog thinking it’s a Roman Catholic sacred relics collection website. Grrrr!
You see, the bible mentions a twisted crown of thorns in the Canonical gospels of Matthew (27:29), Mark (15:17), and John (19:2, 5). It is symbolic of the depravity of man. The depth of man’s descent into sin and death was almost palpable when a deathly prickly garland of thorns was woven and despicably adorned on the tender brow of Jesus. A man who was God incarnate to bear the punishment and wrath of God of these same beings.
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!'” (Matthew 27:27-29)
Christ humbled himself in the incarnation. God became flesh. God became man. He lived among his creation. He was God with us – Emmanuel. He humbled himself to even death. He hung on a cross – an act that drew a curse upon the subject. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
The journey to the cross maintains its hall marks of humiliation after humiliation. The Roman officers flog Jesus and twist a crown of thorns and place it on his head. Then taking up the reed they had given him as a mock sceptre, they repeatedly strike (the God man) in the face with it. Then they bowed in mockery to the King of the Jews, and led him away to be crucified.
Some say the crown of thorns may have been made from the branches of a Jujube tree, a deciduous tree found near Jerusalem, with thorns measuring an inch long or more. And with each blow to the head, the reed repeatedly drove the thorns into his flesh with excruciating pain.
Where in the bible do we come across thorns for the first time? Thorns were actually a product of the fall of man. Sin led to the curse of pain and death. As a consequence of the entrance of sin, God cursed the ground, declaring that it would forever produce thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:18).
Indeed what a “fitting” crown we bestowed upon our sinless redeemer when we viciously crowned him with a cursed thing. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. The crown of thorns represented the curse that Jesus took upon himself in his crucifixion. There truly was no part of humanity and its ruin that he did not experience.
Surely, Jesus suffered for a time beneath the curse, his death and resurrection paved the way for those that believe on him to be set free from the power of sin.
A Twisted Crown of Thorns is just a title. It is a sad one that points to the depravity around and in us. Yet in referencing it we remember the one who took it upon himself and died on a tree. Therein lies our hope too. Therein lies our salvation. Therein lies our greatest comfort. In Christ alone.
Like I said I will never be able to explain why I have titled the blog this way. May be because it’s a satirical title that just keeps nudging the curious inquisitor.
I still don’t know.
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