The Bible is filled with powerful symbols to help us gain a better appreciation and develop a deeper insight into God’s eternal plan for our salvation.
As symbols relate to Jesus we see Him as the light of the world. The water of life. The good shepherd. The sun of righteousness. And the lamb of God.
As we assemble for worship today and specially come to communion, there are three powerful symbols that are worthy of our serious reflection when we think of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.
Try to visualize this event after Jesus had been betrayed, denied, tried illegally, and almost beaten to death before being led away to be crucified.
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!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified (Matt. 27:28-31).
When Jesus was asked by Pilate, “Are you King of the Jews?” He answered, “Yes.”
In mock worship these cruel and calloused soldiers used this image to ridicule, taunt, and scorn Jesus. “A King, you say? Well, let’s crown him.” They used a symbol of majesty and turned into something painful, degrading, and contemptible.
Soon, however, Jesus would exchange the crown of thorns, for a crown of glory when He triumphantly arose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be coronated as King of kings.
Furthermore, the symbolism of the crown of thorns reminds us of Adam and Eve’s sin when God cursed the ground and said it would “bring forth thorns.” As one writer observed, “The Roman soldiers unknowingly took an object of the curse and fashioned it into a crown for the one who would deliver us from that curse” (Gen. 3:17-18; Gal. 3:13).
When we commit our lives to Christ, endure the temptations and trials of Satan’s assaults, and even experience the thorns of the world’s contempt for Christ and Christians, we, too, can look forward to that day when we will “receive the crown of life.” It is an “imperishable crown.” “A crown of righteousness.” A heavenly crown.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman