Jesus Christ: The Meaning and Significance of the Crown of Thorns
✝️ Jesus Christ died on the cross for the redemption of mankind, but the journey to the cross was not an easy one. The Roman soldiers tortured and humiliated Him and placed a crown of thorns on His head. This scenario is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and John.
"and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again."
"They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!”
"The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face."
The crown of thorns is one of the key features we remember when we think about the crucifixion of Jesus. The thought of the pain that came with it is heart-wrenching 😔. Yet Jesus endured it for our sake, for the salvation of our souls.
1) Why Did Jesus Wear the Crown of Thorns?
Jesus did not wear the crown of thorns out of choice, it was placed on His head by those who wanted to see Him suffer. The kind of suffering they had in mind was different from the one Jesus had, theirs had no eternal value. They were mocking His authority because He said He was the king of the Jews. 🇮🇱
"Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.
What Jesus’ captors didn’t know was that He was, and still is the King of kings 👑, and the world will bow at His feet. They did not understand the nature of the kingdom that He ruled."On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
king of kings and lord of lords."
2) What Plant Was the Crown of Thorns Made of?
When Jesus wore the crown of thorns, it was made of twisted thorns. According to Wikipedia, tradition and existing remains suggest that they must have come from the bush botanically known as Ziziphus spina-christi, popularly known as the jujube tree. 🌿
During its stay in the Sainte-Chapelle (Paris), several of the crown’s thorns were removed and presented as gifts from the kings of France to important figures in their times.
Today this beautiful relic is preserved in a gilded, crystalline reliquary and looks like a wreath comprised of brittle but elegantly woven marine rushes.
3) What is the Meaning of the Crown of Thorns?
Matthew 27:28-29 says,
“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said.”
The crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus as a sign of mockery. Those who put it there made a spectacle of it pretending they were bowing to their king.
Isaiah 53:4 says,
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.”
Jesus took our pain and suffering upon Himself and the crown of thorns was one of the ways He did so. That is why He understands our pain very well and comforts us in our difficult times.
According to a commentary on Biblehub.com, thorns and briars were the curse of the earth, sent because of man’s disobedience and expulsion from paradise. Christ came to undo the fault of Adam by taking away its consequences and taking to His head the symbol of evil brought on the earth and bears it on His temple. He came to take away the law of ordinances that tore and tortured the Jewish people and takes its symbol, the thorny circle, and is crowned with it. The thorn is also a sign of sin and mockery and causes intolerable pain when it enters the flesh and pierces the heart.
Thorns were a symbol of a curse and by having them on His head, He carried our curses and gave us blessings in their place.
4) Where is the Relic Today?
The Crown of Thorns was transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople by 1063. The French King Louis IX took it to Paris about 1238 and had the Sainte-Chapelle built (1242-48) to house it. 🇨🇵
Many relics and treasures of the church were lost during the French Revolution of the late 18th century. Napoleon saved the Crown of Thorns, and it was kept in the National Library until 1806 when it was placed in the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. ⛪
The Crown of Thorns is exposed to the faithful on Good Friday during a special service.
5) Surviving the Fire at Notre Dame
🔥 When the spire of Notre Dame cathedral collapsed in a fiery blaze on April 19, 2020, it looked as if the priceless treasures inside would be lost forever. One of them was the Crown of Thorns. Thanks to the rescue efforts of Father Jean-Marc Fournier, it was saved together with other relics.
Many of the treasures including the Crown of Thorns retrieved from the building during the blaze were taken to the Paris City Hall for safekeeping. The crown remains there but likely to go to the Louvre Museum until when it, and other relics, can be returned to the cathedral.
As you meditate on the significance of the crown of thorns, remember that Jesus suffered for your freedom. He shed His blood and endured death on the cross so that you may live and have an abundant life.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Every curse that was supposed to fall on your head fell on Jesus’ head, typified by the crown of thorns. He wore this crown so that you can have peace of mind and you can wear the crown of glory, and take His righteousness and all its benefits.
🙏🏻 Every blessing we enjoy today is found in Christ, and we can thank and praise Him for His redemptive work on the cross. When He endured His cruel death, He did it out of love for us, and we give Him all the glory.
Continue your reading and discover Jesus' Last Words before he died. These 7 Last Words remind us that Jesus loves us and cares about our needs.