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The King’s Crown

By April 19, 2019Gospel3 min read

Good Friday is the day on which some 2,000 years ago Jesus of Nazareth was nailed to a Roman cross just outside the walls of Jerusalem.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus wore a crown of thorns?

Matthew’s Gospel tells us this:

And twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” (Matthew 27:29).

Clearly, the Roman soldiers put a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head to mock Him. As an heir to the throne of David, Jesus had been hailed “King of the Jews,” and the Romans considered Him an insurrectionist.

But those familiar with the Biblical narrative will recognize a deeper meaning in Jesus being crowned with thorns at His crucifixion:

Back in Genesis chapter three, we read about what happened as sin entered the world, when, by their rebellion against God, our first ancestors disobeyed God’s only commandment, a commandment which God had given them for their own good. God’s commandments are always given for our good, by the way! Those first people, by their actions, essentially told God, “We don’t trust you, and we know better than you do, what is best for us.”

As sin entered the world that day, it brought with it a curse: the curse of death.

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men” (Romans 5:12).

This curse affected all of creation, and amongst the various effects of this curse, we read:

“Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain, you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you” (Genesis 3:18).

Do you see the symbolism of the crown of thorns?

Thorns, the symbol of the curse of sin and death, were placed upon Jesus’ head because on the cross Jesus was taking our curse upon Himself so that we might be set free from it.

He hung on a wooden cross because, in His death, He was taking our curse – the curse of sin and death – upon Himself.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:13).

The message of the gospel is that God loves you so much that He traded a crown of glory for a crown of thorns for you. He who was blessed from all eternity, left heaven and came to Earth, in order to take on your curse, so you could receive the blessing of eternal life and fellowship with Him.

Have a wonderful Good Friday, reflecting on the fact that “It is Finished!” (John 19:30).

Nick Cady is the lead pastor of White Fields Community Church in Longmont, Colorado. Within CGN, Nick is lead for the Cultivate Initiative, a member of the Expositors Collective team, host of the CGN Mission & Methods podcast, and member of the Executive Team.