CROWN OF THORNS
While I was a patient in Morriston Hospital in Swansea, one day in the chapel, I gazed at the' crown of thorns ' on the front of the altar there and I realized what a message that image can teach us.
The thorns pressed onto the head of Our Saviour were long and sharp, piercing the Head of our Christian church, trying to ridicule, drawing blood, causing pain. It was a symbol of the future crowns of thorns that many who follow in the steps of our Lord, would be called to wear.
How many do we ourselves know, who seem to have tried their best to live according to the will of God, sharing His Love with all around them, only to meet with ridicule and mockery? How many more suddenly find their lives altered, perhaps for good, after being pierced with pain, tangled thorns of diseases and illness, from which there seems to be no release and making them call out with our Lord, " My God, my God, why have You forsaken me ?"
How many Christians find their faith pierced by those thorns of doubt, pressing deep into their minds, making them cry out for help to stem the flow of tears and restoring them to wholeness again ?
How many Christian minds have actually become destroyed by thorns of disease, depression, despair and trauma, so that they are no longer the people we once knew?
But we must come to Jesus, and pass that crown. The thorns were only the beginning of His pain. He went on to carry His cross and to face one of the most painful deaths possible.
Many of us must go on wearing our crown of thorns and ever being given our own crosses to carry. May be we will have to face painful deaths too.
We must keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus. He knows exactly how we feel when we think God has abandoned us. There is one thing of which we can be sure, and that is, He goes through it all again with us, and will never leave us, however much we turn on Him and blame Him. All we throw at Him will be met with nothing but Love and Acceptance, and with understanding and forgiveness.
Those arms stretched wide on the cross are stretched wide now today ready to embrace us and draw us safely into His tender care, offering only Peace and Safety and a Refuge from the pains of life.
Don't be ashamed of facing pain. Jesus sweated bead like drops of blood
in the garden which showed His real terror of the realization of what lay ahead of Him and He prayed to His Father asking that if possible not to let it happen.
Let us then say with Him, " Nevertheless, not what I want but but Your will be done, "and finally commend ourselves, whatever our circumstances into the hands of Almighty God and be at Peace for He alone knows the purpose and end of it all.
Remember too, when Jesus became too weak to carry His cross, He humbly accepted the help of Simon to carry it for Him. We too must be humble enough to call upon others to help us to carry our crosses. There is no shame in that. May the Holy Spirit develop in our lives the humility that Our Lord showed in His.