The Crown of Thorns

David Bast

READ : Mark 15:16-32

. . . twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. (v. 17 ESV)

It wasn’t enough for the soldiers in Jesus’ execution detail just to torture him. They also decided to make fun of him. Grabbing a branch from some nearby thornbush, the soldiers jammed a makeshift crown on Jesus’ head and bowed in mock worship, making a joke of his claim to be Israel’s king. It was soldiers’ humor, cops’ humor—tough, hardened men mocking a defenseless victim. Just hilarious.

Later, many in the crowd of onlookers at Golgotha joined in the fun, heaping scorn upon the figure hanging from the cross. Jesus not only endured a hideous death, but people even laughed at him while he died, taking gleeful pleasure in what they took to be his comeuppance.

Jesus simply endured it all—the taunting, the mockery, the laughter—as the prophet had foretold (cf. Isaiah 50:6). He silently bore the insults of the crowd, neither replying to them nor retaliating against them. In this, says the apostle, he left us an example to follow (1 Peter 2:21-23). Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame,” adds the writer to the Hebrews, “for the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2). The chief part of that joy was to see God glorified through our salvation.

Can we ever thank him enough?

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for all you endured for me.