Sermon Illustrations

CROWN OF THORNS

Nearly thirty years ago on Saturday night I sat in an indoor arena excitedly watching a beautiful Arabian stallion receive the very high honor of "Legion of Merit."

The lights were turned off and a large spotlight appeared at the entrance gate. Music played as this beautiful bay stallion entered at a gallop. The spotlight followed him as he loped throughout the arena while an announcer proclaimed all the achievements accomplished by this horse.

While standing in the spotlight, a coronet of roses was fastened around the stallion's neck. Then came a lengthy standing ovation as this horse was led from the arena.

In contrast was the coronation day of Christ nearly 2000 years ago. Jesus, the perfect man went about accomplishing the complete will of God, healing the sick, feeding the multitudes and raising the dead. If anyone is worthy of honor, it is Him.

But, He was not greeted with lights, music and cheering. An unnatural darkness came over the land as He hung on the cross. (Luke 23:44) He heard "Crucify Him!" (Matthew 27: 23) "They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. They put a staff in His right hand and knelt in front of Him and mocked Him. 'Hail, king of the Jews!'" He did not receive a coronet of roses but a crown of thorns was shoved onto His head. (Matthew 27: 28-30)

The first result of sin was a curse and thorns came in as a part of that curse. (Gen. 3: 17, 18) Suffering accompanies sin and thorns signify affliction. "God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us..." (2 Cor. 5: 21) Christ was given a crown of thorns by the Roman soldiers, which was symbolic to Him being given the sins of us all. The prophet Isaiah gives us a very descriptive picture of what Christ suffered for us. "Just as there were many who were appalled at Him - His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness." (Isaiah 52:14)

Jesus came and allowed the priests and teachers of the law to hand Him over to wicked men to be crucified, (Matthew 20:17-19) because God's Word says, "...without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (Hebrews 9:22) Ephesians 1:7 tells us, "In Him we have...

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