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  • Writer's pictureR.C. VanLandingham

Crowning Jesus With Thorns

This is Day 35 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.

"And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 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 27:28-29).

This part of the crucifixion, the crowning with thorns, is an extremely important part of the narrative. It wasn't enough for the soldiers to scourge Jesus and then nail Him up to a cross to die a slow and painful death. They had to mock Him as well. And the mocking hurt. It hurt badly, and not just emotionally, but physically. Imagine thorns ripping your scalp as they are forced over your head.

It is not just the fact that we despised and murdered the One that came to save us, but that we mocked His kingship. Jesus is our king whether we want Him to be or not. The Roman soldiers could mock Him all they wanted, but it does not change the fact that Jesus rules over everything. Had the Roman soldiers recognized His kingship they would have been prostrate before Him, worshiping Him and licking the dust at His feet (Psalm 72:9). But they did not recognize His kingship and so they mocked Him and crowned Him with thorns.

I, too, should be prostrate before the Lord, worshiping Him and licking the dust at His feet. There is nothing He could command that I should not jump to obey. There is no sacrifice too big to make for Him. I should live for Him, adapting myself to His will, molding myself into His image. I should love Him with every fiber of my being and desire Him above everything else in this world. Above all, I should recognize that He is the King and I am the slave, and cast the crown over my life at His feet.

I certainly call Him Lord. I do not deny His kingship. But when I call Him "Lord, Lord," but do not obey Him, I am making a mockery of His kingship. When I disobey His commands I might as well have spit in His face. But I do worse than disobey Him. I expect Him to obey me. I expect Him to conform to me. I decide what the truth is and invoke Him to support it. I decide what I want to do for a living and then demand He help me achieve my goals. I decide where to live, where to go to church, what to believe, who to be friends with, what to do with my money, who to vote for, how to spend my Sundays and on and on and on. And I never even bother to consult Him on any of it. But then I call Him "Lord, Lord."

When I call Jesus Lord, but do not treat Him as Lord, I am crowning Him with thorns. And it hurts Him as badly when I do it as it did when the Romans did it.

Today's prayer:

Jesus, You are my Lord and King. Forgive me for not always treating bowing to Your will. Forgive me for wanting to rule my own life. Forgive me for crowning You with thorns. Amen.

R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Christian fantasy novel Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity. He lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and three wonderful boys.

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