So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”
Have you ever played the “word association” game? It’s fun to see how people’s minds work – children in particular, when they say the first word that comes to their mind when they hear a particular word.
For me, the word Corona brings back fond memories of being on holiday with my grandmother in Deiniolen. The Corona truck used to call every week and I was always given a bottle of dandelion & burdock.
Now, of course, the word corona means something else and it feels like I’m in a very different world. The corona we are so familiar with is in the shape of a crown – hence the name. But despite the substantial effect of the crown that is a virus, it is nowhere near the effect that another crown has…
And here we come to the reference to the Lord Jesus Christ wearing a crown.
1. The crown tells us of the shame the Saviour endured. The crown was the subject of ridicule which is why the soldiers pressed the crown of thorns on his head and mocked him by bending a knee. They put a rod in his hand and a purple cloak on him, all to humiliate him (Matt. 27: 28-31). Have you ever wondered why the Savior had to suffer in this way? If he had to die, there are far more humane ways to kill a man. The answer to Scripture, throughout, is the answer that Isaac Watts has in the hymn-
And now the scales have left mine eyes,
Now I begin to see;
Oh the curs’d deeds my sins have done!
What murd’rous things they be!
Where these the traitors, dearest Lord,
That thy fair body tore?
Monsters, that stain’d those heav’nly limbs
With floods of purple gore!
Was it for crimes that I had done
My dearest Lord was slain,
When justice seized God’s only Son,
And put His soul to pain?
The crown gives us an insight into the gravity of our sin in the face of the Righteous God. This is the sin that caused such horrific suffering to our beloved and wonderful Savior.
2. The crown tells us of the Savior’s infinite love for sinners as he willingly endured such atrocities for our sake. This is the only hope for sinners, that the Son of God puts down his life as a sacrifice and payment for our sins. There was no other route. And here we are, today reading the old old story – it happened! The payment has been made, the price has been paid and everything is ready! –
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.
The crown tells us that there is forgiveness for sinners because of the great and sufficient sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. The crown of thorns also tells us of the promise in the gospel to every Christian – a promise of the “crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). It tells us of the Savior’s victory over death and the grave and that he is the “firstfruits” that all others will follow to glory.
On that day in Jerusalem, Jesus of Nazareth looked very weak and despised and that is what the world still thinks of him. But the truth is very different as he is the king! He was king in Jerusalem, the king at Calvary and he is also the king today at the right hand of God. He reigns and advocates, protects and cares, and will ensure that all of his children receive an “unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).
What do we think today when we hear the word “corona”?
Stay safe and healthy — in every sense.
Dewi Tudur (Eglwys Efengylaidd Ardudwy)