Pastor Ian shares a word on Good Friday.
The Crown of Thorns
In the natural, crowns speak of sovereignty and royalty, speaks of a kingdom. At the very least it speaks of exalted rank.
In John’s gospel 19:2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head and arrayed Him in a purple robe.
John 19:5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them ‘Behold the Man’ or ‘Ecce homo, See the man’
When Jesus fulfilled prophecy on the cross, Psalm 22:16 ‘For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet.’
He wore a crown of thorns signifying the curse of original sin upon the whole world, initiated in the Garden of Eden.He bore the curse in order for all humanity to be saved by the grace of God through faith in Him. He paid the price for every sin, iniquity, sickness, disease, disaster, and calamity.
And yes, He bore the corona virus as well! Did you know that the word ‘Corona’ means ‘Crown’ in Latin?
There is something else in our world that is seeking to crown itself sovereign over all.
It may appear to be so but we have true sovereign who stated and proved in His life, death and resurrection that He has ‘overcome the world. ’In times of crisis, our greatest security is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we watch the unfolding of this global pandemic we are astounded at the impact on every person, institution, business, government and nation. We have seen that power is no protection against pandemic, it comes to all and affects all.
We have faced disasters throughout our history, and even pandemics and worldwide economic disruptions, but never on this scale and breadth. To see airports closed, streets empty in major cities, and most events cancelled or delivered remotely, is surreal,
Churches too have gone online to observe ‘social distancing’ rules. We pray for the Lord’s protection while dutifully taking the essential actions to minimise the spread of this contagion.
From the perspective of Biblical truth, we know that ‘all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.’ Romans 8:28
To find the good in a pandemic and global economic upheaval may seem counter-intuitive, yet when we see Jesus as sovereign, wearing the crown of thorns like any other disaster we know there is a way through and it will come to pass.
Paul admonishes, ‘Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.let all that you do be done in love’ 1 Corinthians 16:13
Post-crisis, the lessons learned will impact the way we do things just as the 9-11 crisis caused a major paradigm shifts. As a nation we will be more conscious of social sanitation and public health, communicable disease response and medicine, critical supply chains and national strategic manufacturing these will be good things to ensure the health, safety, and economic vitality of our nations.
Jesus is King
Thorns first appear in scripture immediately after Adam’s fall into sin. Genesis 3:18 says ‘Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you and you shall eat the plants of the field.’
The mockers intended the crown of thorns as degradation and torture. God however, through the Holy Spirit documented it to provide us a glimpse of why Jesus Christ came to Earth at all.
Why did Jesus wear the crown of thorns? because He wanted us to not just look but to see, that He carried the curse of sin in the form of a crown of thorns for you and for me.
He wore the Crown, submitted Himself to a cruel tree Yes to die for us in our place and we are thankful. But He did it because was the Father’s will and Jesus was absolutely committed to doing the Father’s will.
John 3:16 does not say ‘Jesus loved the world so much that He went to the cross to die for everyone’s sins.’
It says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes on Him would not perish but have eternal life.” The reason why the Father sent Jesus to the cross was because of the greatness of the Father’s love for the people of this world