Curse of the crown

by Gavin  

Curse of the crown


There are rich ironies embedded in the build-up to the cross.


Mark as he writes shows us the mocking of Jesus Christ all over the place!  Pilate, Chief Priests, Herod, Herod’s soldiers, Romans soldiers, and the people passing by at Golgotha where Jesus was crucified all revile Him. The whole spectrum of society mocked him as king… from the lowest to the highest, from the most powerful to the least, from the pagan foreign rulers to the ultra-religious Jews.


But you know the irony in all this?  What is the irony in the mocking and taunting and laughing at Jesus when they pour scorn on Him as King?  What have they missed as they laugh and joke??


Do not miss this… this is the crucial part of this whole story. Jesus was the King.  He is the King.  He will forever be the King. They mock Jesus as King but fail to see the majesty of Jesus as real King!


Part of that multi-phasic taunting was the mocking of Jesus as king by the Roman soldiers…


And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.” (Mark 15:16–17, ESV)


The military force was overkill here.  The whole battalion – the local cohort – would have been 600 men, and it is they who gather here.  Pretty much all the off-duty soldiers gathered together to have some fun with this Jewish prisoner, who was known to be the supposed King of the Jews.

Their strategy was simple – if He was supposed to be king, then they’d treat Him as a king.  So they find a purple cloak – a symbol of royalty – and they put it on Jesus.  Then they find thorns, twist those twigs into a rough circle, and create a crown, and force it down on the head of Jesus.


And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him.” (Mark 15:18–19, ESV)


The whole thing is an act, a show, a time of sport for them, some fun Friday morning entertainment.

They get their few minutes of fun, at Jesus’ expense, by pretending He was a king, and pretending to honour Him and revere Him.


And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.” (Mark 15:20, ESV)


They had no clue. For these pagan soldiers it was just a game, but their sadistic actions actually pointed to Christ as the sin-bearer, as the atoning sacrifice, the One through whom sin would be defeated.  The missed the true majesty of Christ even in their fake homage.  That mocking carried on right through to the cross.


But now, think about this… the crown of thorns was done primarily as an act of fake homage to the real King whom they did not see or acknowledge as King.  But is there a deeper level of significance here?  Track with me…


What was one of the signs of the Fall? 


And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ 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; and you shall eat the plants of the field.” (Genesis 3:17–18, ESV)


Thorns!  Thorns entered a good world because of sin.  Thorns and thistles are a marker of a sin-affected, sin-corrupted world that is longing for the final redemption.  In Eden, before Adam and Eve sinned, there were no thorns.  In the New Heaven and New Earth, with the effects of the Fall reversed, there will be no thorns.


So, we see Jesus Christ wearing a mock crown, designed to humiliate Him, but made out of plant material that was a result of, and in fact a sign of, mankind’s sin.  We see the Son of God going to the cross to deal with man’s sin wearing a crown made of one of the very signs that points to that sin.  Christ headed for the cross to defeat sin and overcome sin and atone for sin while wearing a deeply painful reminder of that sin.  Without even knowing the depths of what they were doing, these Roman soldiers thrust a sign of God’s curse on humanity onto the head of the Saviour who was about to suffer and die to redeem humanity.    In a very real and graphic way, the Sacrificial Lamb bore the sign of the curse even as He was led to be crucified on the cross,


The ironies are rich!


How does that enrich our reading of Galatians 3:13 as we approach Easter this year?


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



1 comment

Comment from: Cobus Dreyer [Visitor]
Cobus Dreyer

Hi Gavin, wow, more proof that God’s redemptive plan was there from beginning. From a personal perspective, I am reminded that we were amongst those who mocked, tortured, and crucified our Lord. But God…in His mercy and grace, sent His Son to die as an atonement for our sins against Him, and Him alone. I do not understand why, and i cannot begin to comprehend the love and mercy that our Lord has for. One can but humbly say thank you Lord.

04/01/18 @ 09:51 pm

Form is loading...