Summary: The significance of the crown of thorns.
A. INTRODUCTION: JOHN 19: 2-5
"And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon 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!" (Matt. 27:29).
"Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!" (John 19:5).
Questions: His Crown
1. What is the meaning of thorns?
2. Why did they use thorns on Jesus?
3. Why a crown?
4. Who crowned Jesus with thorns?
5. Why did Jesus allow it?
6. What is my response?
B. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THORNS?
A sign of: (1) Sin. (2) Sorrow. (3) Sweat.
"Because thou hast harken unto the voice of thy wife . . . and eaten of the tree which I commanded thee . . . cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow . . . thorns and thistles shall it bring forth . . . in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat" (Gen. 3:17-19).
C. WHY DID THEY USE THORNS?
1. God’s providence. When God put our sins upon Christ, what better symbol than putting thorns on His head. "For he (God) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who (Christ) knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Christ)" (II Cor. 5:21).
2. To mock Christ. "They bowed . . . mocked Him saying, Hail, King of the Jews." (Matt. 27:29).
3. To follow Pilate, "Pilate took Jesus, and scourged Him" (John 19:1).
4. Thoughtless. The soldiers had crucified many, and they knew Pilate their commander did not care.
When I survey the wondrous cross,
on which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
and poured contempt on all my pride.
See from his Head, His hands, His feet,
sorrow and love poured mingled down,
Did e’re such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown.
D. WHY A CROWN?
Jesus was scourged, hit with a rod, stabbed, His beard pulled out by the roots, and spit upon. Why a crown?
1. Symbol of rulership and authority. "Behold King Solomon with the crown" (Song of Solomon 3:11).
2. Symbol of glory and rejoicing. "Thou crownedst Him with glory and honor" (Heb. 2:7).
3. Symbol of winning. "They which run a race, run all, but one receiveth . . . a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible" (I Cor. 9:24,25).
4. Symbol of riches. "A crown of pure gold" (Ps. 21:3).
5. Symbol of mockery. "They bowed . . . mocked Him" (Matt. 27:29).
E. WHO CROWNED JESUS WITH THORNS?
1. Soldiers. "The soldiers platted a crown" (John 19:2).
2. Angry Men. "Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?" (Acts 4:25).
3. Gentiles. "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus . . . both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles . . . were gathered together" (Acts 4:27).
F. WHY DID JESUS ALLOW IT? AND WHAT IS MY RESPONSE?
1. He took my sin. "Who His own self, bare our own sins in His own body?" (I Peter 2:24). I must not give myself to sin. "My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not" (I John 2:1).
2. He took my curse. "Christ . . . being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Gal. 3:13). I will bless Him with my mouth. "Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus" (Romans 10:9). "With one mind and one mouth glorify God" (Romans 15:6).
3. Christ took my suffering. "When He suffered" (II Peter 2:23). "Ought not Christ to have suffered" (Luke 24:26). I should be willing to suffer for Him. "Unto you it is given . . . not only to believe on Him, but to suffer for His sake" (Phil. 1:29).
4. Christ openeth not His mouth. "As a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth" (Is. 53:7). I should be willing to speak for Him. "For we cannot but speak the things which we have heard" (Acts 4:26).
5. Christ went to the cross for me. "And they took Jesus . . . He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull" (John 19:12,17). I must take up my cross daily. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (Luke 9:23).
6. Christ took my shame. "Enduring the cross, despising the shame" (Heb. 12:2). I must give Him my glory. "Rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name" (Acts 5:41). "The four and twenty elders fall down before Him . . . and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art Worthy, O Lord to receive glory, and honor, and power" (Rev. 4:10,11).