Friday, October 21, 2011

Crown of Thorns

In Christianity, the Crown of Thorns (Greek: στεφανον εξ ακανθων, stephanos ek akantha "crown"+"of"+"a thorn"), one of the instruments of the Passion, was the woven chaplet of thorn branches worn by Jesus before his crucifixion. It is mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew (27:29), Mark (15:17), and John (19:2, 5) and is often alluded to by the Early Church Fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and others.

John the Evangelist describes it like this:
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and struck him with their hands.
The particular favours God designed for his people in captivity, were foretold by Isaiah, long before they went into captivity. Very great difficulties would be in the way of their deliverance; but it is promised that by Divine power they should all be removed. God knew who should be the Deliverer of his people; and let his church know it, that when they heard such a name talked of, they might know their redemption drew nigh. It is the greatest honour of the greatest men, to be employed as instruments of the Divine favour to his people. In things wherein men serve themselves, and look no further, God makes them do all his pleasure. And a nobler Shepherd than Cyrus does his Father's will, till his work is fully completed.
who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose'; saying of Jerusalem, 'She shall be built,' and of the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.'"
—Isa 44:28

Then, approximately 700 years later:
18 So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?"
19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20 The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
—John 2:18-21
And the people who saw Jesus being crucified, were reminded of what he had said
27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!"
—Mark 15:27-30

After Jesus had died on the cross, and had been buried in a tomb that had been donated by Joseph of Arimathea three days did, in fact, pass.
22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
—John 2:22
Hillsong United - Hosanna

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