Q. Someone discussing how Jesus has paid for our healing quoted Isaiah 53, “by His stripes we are healed”, but said it was also by the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. I know that stripes refers to the marks of the whips on His back, but this man was insisting that the crown of thorns was payment also. I haven’t heard much over the years about the significance of the crown of thorns. Could you give me some more detail on this event in the Lord’s crucifixion?
A. In the physical sense the the soldiers were mocking Jesus for claiming to be a King (John 18:33-37) by putting a crown of thorns on his head. Remember, Pilate had a sign identifying Him as the King of the Jews attached to His cross (John 19:19).
But in the spiritual sense I believe the crown of thorns symbolized the fact that when He went to the cross, Jesus also bore the curse that God placed upon the creation. Because of Adam’s sin, God introduced thorns and thistles into the plant life, and the thorn bush was the first one mentioned (Genesis 3:18). Over time the thorn bush became a symbol of the curse.
One of the blessings the Lord’s death brought is that at the 2nd Coming the creation will be freed from this curse (Rev. 22:3). This is why the Bible speaks of how fertile the earth will be during the Millennium.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills” (Amos 9:13).
And Paul said, “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21).