Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. 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.
[Matthew 27:27-31 NKJV]
The word used with the crown of thorns here and in other verses is ‘twisted’. It is normally used in two ways — one meaning to force out of its normal shape and the other (referring to the mind) to warp or be unhealthily abnormal. However you read it in reference to Jesus, this was meant as an attack on His mind, mocking Him in an attempt to send a message to all who followed Him that their belief was no more than sheer foolishness. We can say that with clarity. Here was Man mocking God, and as we understand, God will not be mocked. ('Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap' [Galatians 6:7 NKJV])
For each of us, we see that our daily struggle is in our mindset, our thoughts. Satan (that is the spirit of this world that rests within our nature) seeks to bring us down or lure us away from Christ by the thoughts that spring — as it seems newly-formed — into our consciousness; and we consider ourselves clever. But this crown the Accuser bestows becomes one of pain and confusion -- a crown of thorns indeed.
Our Lord knows this. He says, ‘expect it’. Expect the mocking; the stripping away of all you know and love; to have your old clothes — your old ways — thrown back at you, accusing and denigrating until the life is taken from you. Our Lord knows for it was His to bear also.
We all at times wear a crown of thorns; the twisted reasoning thrust onto and piercing into our minds -- the deed done by others or at our own hand. Our only recourse is to turn towards Jesus; He has already been to and through the Cross. As the Angel which appeared at the tomb said to the two Mary's at the tomb, 'He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold I have told you' [Matthew 28:7b NKJV]. Galilee, as we have already discovered in our study of John's Gospel, represents trust and faith in God. We still have to reap the consequences of the twisted or distorted sowing, but we have been told, 'you will see Him'.
The highest Christian love is not devotion to a work or to a cause, but to Jesus Christ.
[from ‘The Place of Help’]
Here is a link to the BBC Radio series ‘The History of The World in 100 Objects’ by Neil McGregor, based on objects held in the British Museum. The episode linked here is the ‘Holy Thorn Reliquary’, which you may find of interest.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART