“And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon 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!” (Matthew 27:28-29
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” (Colossians 2:14)
Recently, I was preparing to teach our final lesson for Good News Club – the Easter lesson, the Good News! I decided to make a crown of thorns to show the children, and since my husband is a carpenter, find a big nail to show them how Christ suffered for our sins.
First, I went outside and gathered some wild rose branches from the side bushes, and started weaving and winding it into a crown-shape. As I was getting stabbed and poked by those rose thorns, I started thinking about the soldiers who made the crown of thorns for Jesus’ head. The little pricks I received were nothing compared to the cuts that those large thorns would have given them as they plaited that crown of thorns for Jesus. And I thought how much they must have hated Him and despised Him as they suffered those pricks and worked, making it just so they could ridicule Him. Then I remembered how they shoved it down on His head, gave him a robe and a stick and mocked Him as King of the Jews! What utter wrath must have motivated them. And yet He still loved them!
Then, I went down to my husband’s shop to find a big old nail to show them. I found one that had been pulled out of an old beam, but it was bent. So I laid it on the concrete floor of his shop, held it with the fingers of one hand and tapped at it with a sledgehammer with the other hand. You guessed it! The nail twisted and as the sledgehammer struck, a little bit of the end of my finger got caught under that nail and pinched and I got a big blood blister! So, then I was thinking about those Roman soldiers who took those big nails, spread Jesus’ hands out on that wooden cross and drove the nail into his flesh. I wonder if, in their haste and anger, they ever struck their own finger with the hammer as they drove those nails in? What anger and hatred must have filled their hearts to do such a cold and cruel thing! And yet He still loved them!
Jesus loved them just as He loves you and me. He suffered these things and so much more to pay the price we owed for the sinful things we have thought, said, and done — things that offend our Holy God. He offers it all as a gift that we just have to reach out and receive. He died and rose again on the third day because He is GOD! He conquered death and the grave so that we can be saved, so that we can be redeemed. He told Nicodemus, “You must be born again”, we are all born physically and that begins our physical life on earth. But we must be born AGAIN, spiritually, in order to start our Spirit-filled life as a Christian, or “little Christ”.
Have you received the gift Christ offers? Have you been saved, redeemed, converted, born again (they all mean the same thing)?
You can settle it right now by believing the Gospel, the Good News:
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
I couldn’t help getting emotional as the children touched the sharp thorns on the crown, and imitated putting a nail in their hands, contorting their faces in empathetic pain as they tried to imagine what Jesus went through. When they asked me, “Why are you crying?” I said, “because He chose to do this for ME, and for YOU!” It’s no wonder one of those Roman Soldiers, after witnessing Jesus’ death on the cross, declared, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54).
And, then HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD!!
And that’s what Easter/Resurrection Sunday is all about.
~Graced and Grateful Grammy
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed!!