The Victorious Crown of Thorns

We call them “thorny situations.” They describe something we’d usually rather avoid. Because thorns hurt. Because a situation wrought with barbs and little wiggle room is bound to bring pain. As we contemplate the Easter story, how appropriate for thorns to appear both in the Garden and at the Cross. 

When the Creator spoke the cosmos into being, it was good. But there, in the perfection of the Garden of Eden birthed the very first thorny choice. It divided good from evil. It tempted man with the very same sin which dethroned Satan, “to be like God.” 

For isn’t our true struggle one of dominion?  To serve God or self, is our thorn of temptation. It is the battle which results in yielding our lives to Christ or clutching it to ourselves. 

“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 ESV)

And with those hissed words of the snake in the background and the beauty of the fruit before their eyes, God’s beloved man and woman disobeyed. Sin with its insidious tentacles of desire, shattered that perfect world, spiraling Adam along with you and me into an abyss of separation. 

The Maker, holy and just declared:

Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. (Gen. 3:17-18; NIV) 

Sweet fellowship between God and humankind severed. The physical earth suffered. The spiritual realm warred. 

But God already had a Master plan for a Redeemer to come and break sin’s curse. He knew the end at the very beginning. Victory would come. Years passed. People lived and died, laughed and cried. Until one day when the time was right, evil men wove spiked woody vines into a mockery of a King’s crown.

“Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. 

“You have said so,” Jesus replied. (Mark 15:2 NIV)

The cursed ground of the Garden produced the thorns for a King’s crown.  

They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.”  (Mark 15:17 NIV)

Crude spikes, pressed into our Savior’s head, cruel and painful, promised glory to come. A victorious crown adorned the head of the Son of God. 

Sin’s curse would be broken by the sacrifice of the sinless Lamb, the only One able to pay the penalty of sin.   

“And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” (Mark 15:18 NIV) 

As sharp points bore into his forehead and pierced his brow, and while soldiers mocked and jeered, He knew. The splendor of Christ’s crown wasn’t in its beauty but rather in the audacity of its triumph.

“Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.” (Mark 15:19 NIV) The splendor of Christ’s crown wasn’t in its beauty but rather in the audacity of its triumph Click To Tweet

He knew

He knew. The day had arrived. An ugly barbed crown encircled Jesus’ head not in defeat, but like a wreath of victory. A crown of thorns reminds us both of sin’s curse and Christ’s victory over its power. 

And this Easter we are reminded again. When thorns of this life prick and sting. When we hurt and are wounded. When grief and pain grip our hearts. When we are laughed at, mistreated, sick, discouraged or the road seems too difficult, we remember. An ugly barbed crown encircled Jesus’ head not in defeat, but like a wreath of victory Click To Tweet

Jesus exchanged painful thorns for resurrection victory. 

God does not waste our pain or our struggles. He is meticulous. He does not act capriciously nor are His judgements facetious. His plans are just and right. His ways far beyond our understanding.

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11 KJV

With arms outstretched on a cross, with head bowed, bearing a crown of thorns, a cry of triumph sounded. “It is finished.” (John. 19:30 KJV)


* Feature Photo by Peyman Shojaei on Unsplash


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15 Replies

  1. Nancy E. Head Reply

    It’s hard to find our way among the thorns of life sometimes. Yet He is a reliable Lord, trustworthy. Thanks for encouraging me today. God bless, Sylvia.

    • sylvia schroeder Reply

      Thank you Nancy for your comment. We’ve had some thorns lately, and I am so very grateful to know the One who bore them on a Cross. Have a wonderful Resurrection Day!!

  2. Don Pahl Reply

    “‘Tis mercy all, immense and free
    For O my God, it found out me!
    Amazing love! How can it be,
    That Thou, my God, should die for me?”

    Thank you, Sylvia, for the reminder of that costly freedom!

    • Sylvia schroeder Reply

      I love that hymn. Thank you. Abundant mercy! Have a wonderful Resurrection Day!

  3. Tony Vanderlaan Reply

    Thank you Sylvia for the reminder of the heavey price Christ paid on our behalf. We must surrender all to Him unconditionally.
    Happy Easter to you and Phil and thefamily

    • Sylvia schroeder Reply

      Thank you Tony! It is always beyond understanding and marvelous to remember. Happy Easter to you and your family.

  4. Ron Gallagher Reply

    Great job of weaving a thought provoking combination into those thorns, Sylvia. Thank you for the sobering, convicting, victorious, and inspirational message as we move toward Resurrection Sunday.

  5. Katherine Pasour Reply

    Your message is compelling, heart wrenching, and victorious. It’s perfect to touch on all the emotions we feel this week. Thank you, Sylvia.

    • Sylvia schroeder Reply

      Thank you Katherine. I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend!

  6. Sharon Reply

    Thank you Sylvia!
    I hadn’t really thot of the crown of thorns in that way before – victory!
    Also a neat connection between the garden and the cross.

  7. Sylvia schroeder Reply

    Thank you Sharon. We have so much to be grateful for as we remember Christ’s death and resurrection. I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend.

  8. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Sorry for being so late getting to this my friend, but a masterful job of humbling this heart. Sometimes, it seems that when Easter is over, we go back to “regular worship” and seem to spend less time thinking of and thanking for the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for me.