"And 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"
 (Mathew 27:29 NKJV).

Have you ever wondered why the Roman
soldiers chose thorns to create a crown of
mockery for Jesus? It was not an accident;
 it was indicative of the mission that Jesus came
 to perform and was now ready to complete.

It was more than just something to cause Him pain. It was filled with symbolism. Look at
Genesis 3:17-18. "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it. All the days
of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall
bring forth for you" Adam and Eve had forfeited their paradisiacal habitat by their
sin of disobedience, and the result was thorns...
the fruit of sin.

"Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho,
saying, Ďyou shall drive out all the inhabitants
 of the land destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the
land where you dwell"
 (Numbers 33:50-55 NKJV)
Why did God warn Israel that the inhabitants would be thorns to them if they allowed
them to remain?

God knew the potential and inclination of Israel
 to backslide into idol worship. As long as the pagan worshippers and their gods remained among the people of God, He knew that it
would invade their worship of Him. The result
of their sinful pagan worship would bring sin
and its consequence to the erring Israelites.
He likened the results of their sin to thorns
which would prick them and lead to deadly
infection...sinís consequence.

Joshua reiterated Mosesí warning to Israel in Joshua 23:13.
"they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes" The consequences of their failure to obey God
and keep their worship of Him pure would
result in thorns...sinís prick--and destroy
them. Sinís prick is deadly, eternally so.

God called Israel to task for not tearing down pagan altars. He began by telling them He
would never renege on His covenant with them, but they had failed on their end by not obeying
 His voice. "they shall be thorns in your side,
 and their gods shall be a share to you."
(Judges 2:3 NKJV)

When Gideon was waging war with the Midianites, he used thorns to signify the
judgment of God. "When the Lord has
delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand,
 then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of
the wilderness with briers."
Judges 8:7 NKJV)

 The thorns represented Godís judgment.
In Proverbs 22:5 'thorns and snares describe
the consequence of 'the perverse.' It will bring Godís judgment on those who are arrogant and rebellious against God. The field of the
slothful will be overgrown with thorns and
covered with nettles (Proverbs 24:31). Again,
 this referred to consequences and judgment
for not being obedient and diligent to serve God.

Isaiah saw the Lordís hand in judgment in the fruitless vineyard. He looked for justice but saw only oppression. What would He do about it? "I will take away its hedge [protection/grace and mercy] and it shall be burned; there shall come
up briers and thorns" (Isaiah 5:5-7). Again,
thorns represented Godís judgment and the consequences of sin. This scenario was repeated
in other verses in Isaiah: vineyards would become a place of thorns and briers (7:24), consequences of complacency would turn the pleasant fields
and fruitful vines into thorns and brier thickets (32:13).

Have you begun to see the portrait of thorns and what they represent? Even the palaces...places
of influence and power...will not escape. "They shall call its nobles to the kingdom. But none
shall be there, and all its princes shall be
nothing. And thorns shall come up in its
palaces, Nettles and brambles in its fortresses;
 It shall be a habitation of jackals"
(Isaiah 34:12-13 NKJV)

 False teachers and preachers who tickle our
ears will be subject to the thornís prick...judgment. 'Thorns shall be in their tents
 of worship, a place of sacrifice to the Lord
which they have polluted" (Hosea 9:6)
 No one will escape the judgment of God; the
prick of sin will find everyone who has
not brought their sins to Jesus before judgment falls and the prick of sin brings eternal consequences.

Jesus taught that grapes are not gathered from thorns, but from the branches (us) of the vine (Christ). He is the source of the fruit and has purged us from thorns...the prick of sin with
the consequence of the sting of death. But He warned that the thorns of cares of this life,
riches and pleasures of life (things
the flesh lusts after) will strangle the Word
and the life it brings if we arenít diligent
and prayerfully watchful.

Now, back to the crown of thorns that Jesus
wore. Every thorn that pierced His brow and caused His precious sinless blood to flow was
for our sin. "Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And
Pilate said to them, ĎBehold the Man!"
(John 19:5 NKJV)
 Yes, 'Behold the Man' who is suffering for our
 sin, whose crown of thorns is piercing His
heart for the sins of the world. Behold the Man who is taking the consequence of breaking
Godís Laws upon Himself. He is accepting the prick of sin...ours...and will pay the ultimate
 penalty, His death in our place.

The head that never knew the fruit of sin
 (prick of the thorn) was willing to bear mine
and the sins of the whole world upon
His own sinless brow that pierced Him to His heart. He allowed the crown of thorns
(sinís fruit) to wound Him so I will never
have to wear that thorny crown of sinís

He set aside His crown of glory for a crown of thorns whose every pierce cried 'Guilty!' He stretched out His hands on the cross and with
His death burned all the thorns, nettles and
briers of sin that the crown of thorns piercing
his brow represented. The crown of thorns is no more! He now wears the crown of glory and
has a crown laid up for us for whom
He died and paid for every sin.

When you look upon the crown of thorns, remember that every prick was for you!

July 18,2003
Delores Adams
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