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Why did Jesus wear a crown of thorns?

by and 

thorns
Published: 25 March 2016 (GMT+10)

In Genesis 3:17–19 we read;

And to Adam he [God] said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
The thorns and thistles introduced in Genesis 3 pose significant problems for Christians who do not take Genesis as real history, as it is intended.

In God’s originally perfect creation Adam and Eve, when created on Day Six, were placed in the Garden of Eden. Here, they were given one commandment; they were not to eat from ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ (Genesis 2:17). In the above verses from Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve had disobeyed God’s command, thus bringing sin and death into the world (Romans 5:12), God explained to them some of the fuller consequences and effects of their sin: the Curse. The Curse was not merely imposed upon them, but upon all creation, over which they had been given dominion.1 Contained within this Curse is a specific reference to the introduction of thorns and thistles into the now fallen creation. In the immediate context—that is, Adam and Eve and the predicament they now found themselves in—“Adam’s sin has spoiled his environment, and it suffers along with him”.2 As Henry Morris wrote, “The earth which had previously cooperated readily as the man tilled and dressed it (Genesis 2:5-15), now became reluctant to yield his food. Instead it began to yield thorns and noxious weeds, requiring toil and sweat and tears before man could eat of it.”3 The effects of the thorns and thistles have continued from that day to now, as any farmer or gardener well knows.4 Before the Fall and Curse, all would have worked together in perfect harmony. Adam could have taken pleasure watching plants grow with ease and producing an abundant source of food. However, what would have been a joy-filled task for Adam in the Garden of Eden now became laborious, requiring toil and struggle.

Curse incompatible with millions of years

Caleb Salisbury

Thorns-fossil

Christians who believe God’s infallible Word (no thorns before sin) cannot also believe in man’s fallible ‘word’ (millions of years of thorns before people).

The thorns and thistles introduced in Genesis 3 pose significant problems for Christians who do not take Genesis as real history, as it is intended. If, as long-age secular geologists claim, the earth took billions of years of slow and gradual processes to reach its current form, then we have to conclude that thorns found in the fossil record are also millions of years old. This would mean that thorns, and death, must have come before Adam’s sin and long before any human being arrived on planet earth. This is obviously problematic and leads to a re-interpretation of the plain reading of the biblical text through imposing the fallible ideas of man on to the text instead. In contrast, thorns in the fossil record are not a problem for biblical creationists, who believe the majority of the fossil record resulted from Noah’s Flood, which destroyed the earth as it then was. This catastrophic event happened more than 1,500 years after sin entered the world, so biblical creationists would not be surprised to find thorns in the fossil record. Rather, it would be very consistent with the natural chronology of the Bible.

Symbolism of thorns in Scripture

The crown of thorns vividly symbolized the curse of sin being placed on Jesus’s head. It immediately takes the reader back to Genesis, reminding us of why Jesus went to the cross, to take the penalty for sin on our behalf.

As well as thorns and thistles being a very real physical component to the cursed world that we all now live in, they carry further symbolic negative overtones throughout the Bible, firmly pointing back to the Curse in Genesis. Their symbolic meaning also creates problems for those who do not read Genesis as a true historical account, as the negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles are integral to their historical origin at the time of the Curse. Without the connection to their historical origin, their symbolic meaning becomes empty and vague.

The numerous references to thorns and thistles5 throughout the Bible remind us of the historical Original Sin and Curse that followed. The negative biblical overtones associated with thorns and thistles after Genesis 3:18 are demonstrated in their representation as obstacles, punishment, or serving as a reminder of sin and its consequences. For example:

  • In Numbers 33:55, God warned the Israelites that if they did not drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, allowing them to remain, the Canaanites would be an obstacle to them. They would be, “thorns in your sides”. Proverbs 15:19 again uses the imagery of thorns as obstacles, saying, “The way of the sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”
  • In Isaiah 34:13, when God is speaking of the consequences of His judgment on the land of Edom, thorns feature as part of their punishment: “Thorns shall grow over its strongholds, nettles and thistles in its fortresses. It shall be the haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches.”
  • The New Testament also uses thorns and thistles in reference to the inner workings of the worldly heart, corrupted by sin. In the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:3–8, some seeds “fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them” (v. 7). Also, the outward expression of that worldly heart which apostatizes from Christ is likened to a barren wasteland, which, “if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:8).

Jesus’ thorny crown

The ultimate fulfilment of the symbolism that thorns and thistles have in the Bible is found in Matthew 27:29:

“[A]nd twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ ”

Here the governor’s soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head, to mock him as the King of the Jews. Oh, if only they had known both what they were doing and the symbolism that their actions entailed! Thorns were not present in the original very good world, but the Roman soldiers didn’t have any trouble finding thorns to place on Jesus head. Thorns that were a direct result of man’s original sin are now found in abundance in a world that is steeped in sin. What the soldiers unwittingly did was hugely significant. There is nothing random in the Bible; every word that has been written in its pages is significant. The crown of thorns vividly symbolized the curse of sin being placed on Jesus’s head. It immediately takes the reader back to Genesis, reminding us of why Jesus went to the cross, to take the penalty for sin on our behalf.6 He died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, so that the Curse that God had pronounced upon this earth because of sin, can be removed for those that believe in him, and that ultimately creation itself can be redeemed. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21). Christ’s actions will blunt every sharply pointed thistle and thorn as well as the other effects of the curse. The Christian can shout, “O death, where is your sting?”7

While the Roman soldiers may have mocked Jesus, just as many others do today, He is indeed the King of Kings, Creator and Lord of this universe. He conquered sin and death through his death and resurrection, so that all those who repent and believe on Him can be saved. This is good news to all people. Amen!

Related Articles

Further Reading

References and notes

  1. Genesis 1:28, commonly referred to as the Dominion Mandate. Return to text
  2. Matthews, K.A., The New American Commentary, An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture, Genesis 1–11:26, Broadman & Holman Publishers, p. 252, 1996. Return to text
  3. Morris, H., The Genesis Flood, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 35th printing, p. 125, 1976. Return to text
  4. It is interesting to note that there are design features found in some of the ‘thorns and thistles’ that have been examined. See for example: Robinson, P., Cactus spines, sharper than you may think!, J. Creation 28(2):9–11, 2014; creation.com/cactus-spines. Return to text
  5. Represented by a range of different Hebrew and Greek words. Return to text
  6. 1 John 4:10 Return to text
  7. 1 Corinthians 15:55. Return to text

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Readers’ comments
Richard G., United Kingdom, 7 April 2016

Hi Phil

I don't quite understand what you are getting at by the last part of your response. As you seemed to have introduced an unimplied controversy by your statement:

"..the restoration of a Cursed creation, making way for a 'new' creation must be understood in the context of ALL The Scriptural Teaching (emphasis mine). Details of eschatology (End Times teaching) are matters disputed by sincere Christians but this is beyond CMI's remit, for example, the timing and nature of the fulfilment of passages such as Isaiah 65: 20-25."

You indicate that to get a proper interpretation and context one must make use of All Scripture. While at the same time only referring to New Testament passages. However, in context of any New Testament passages – All Scripture is primarily with reference to The Law, The Prophets and The Psalms ( Luke 24: 27, 44-45, 2 Tim 3: 16-17) Which Jesus said, “Could not!” and “Should not!” be broken (John 10: 35, Matt 5: 17-19)

The Bookends of The Bible are Creation and The New Creation of God (Gen 1: 1-2 and Revelation 21: 1-7). The Scriptures clearly teach that Yahweh God is The Creator and The Redeemer and He has assigned The dominion of the Earth to mankind in both scenarios (Gen 1: 26-28, Psalm 8: 4-9, Psalm 115: 16, Matt 5: 3-12, Rev 20: 4-6).

This, I believe, is Our Hope in Christ Jesus, who bore all our iniquities on The Cross (including The Crown of Thorns) to provide for us the Certainty of this Future (Jeremiah 29: 11, Isaiah 49: 5-9, Daniel 7: 22, 27, Rev 20: 4-6)

So, Our Redemption and The Restoration of The World (i.e. – A New Heavens & A New Earth) appear to be inextricably linked to one another.

Philip Bell responds

I suspect we may be at cross purposes here. In a short reply, I was not even beginning to attempt to refer to all pertinent teaching on the matters in hand. We have no disagreement with anything in your latest response. The point I sought to make was that the new heavens and earth to come are entirely new; it's not merely a case of the present creation being given a make-over for this will be completely destroyed by fire. To reiterate, I entirely agree that our redemption is inextricably linked to the ushering in of a curse-free, deathless new heavens and earth.

T. Z., Canada, 5 April 2016

Excellent article. I wonder if you could explain in more detail the difference between the curse of the fall and the curse of the law? Some Christians have taught that because we are redeemed from the curse of the law it includes the curse of the fall yet we indeed see the thorn issue, women pain in childe bearing etc....

Phil Robinson responds

Great question. The Curse specifically enacted as a result of the disobedience against God in the Garden of Eden is detailed in Genesis 3. This not only affected man’s relationship with God, which is now broken, but the entire creation that he had been given dominion over (Genesis 1:28-29). The creation, and everything in it, still suffers from this Curse, which is why there are still thorns, women still have pain in child bearing, and there is death and suffering.

The curse of the law referred to (see e.g. Deuteronomy 27:26; Joshua 8:34; Daniel 9:11; Galatians 3:10) is the perfect and holy requirements of God that He will hold everyone accountable to, but that no-one, due to our sinful nature, can live up to. By Jesus bearing our sins upon the cross we can be redeemed from this curse. Jesus became our curse for us (Galatians 3:13), paying the price God required for our sin, and making provision for us to have our fellowship with God restored.

Ultimately, as the article pointed out, creation itself will be redeemed and restored back to its originally ‘very good’ status. Every genuine believer in Christ has already been redeemed from the curse of the law and has no need to fear the 'second death' (Revelation 2:11; Revelation 20:6); those rejecting salvation through Christ will suffer the curse of the law's judgment and the fearful prospect of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 and Revelation 21:8). Christians, however, look forward to a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1-4) where all effects of the Curse are removed (Revelation 22:3).

Richard G., United Kingdom, 5 April 2016

Thanks Phil & Colin

I've never really considered the significance of The Crown of Thorns - other than their use in the cruelty inflicted upon Jesus for our sakes. But thanks to your article you've made me look more closely at it.

Thorns & Briers were pronounced as a Curse upon nature and its produce for man's benefit (Gen 3: 17-19) Thus, the whole world sit under the Condemnation of Sin and Death. And currently travails in groans and labours until now - Waiting for the Glorious Liberty of The Sons of Yahweh God (Rom 8: 18-25).

When Jesus bore the crown of Thorns on the Cross, He went to do battle with the Evil one, to cast out The prince of this world (John 12: 31-32): Who through fear of death has kept us all mankind under the bondage and curse of Sin (Heb 2: 14-18) To reclaim The World and its inhabitants from a tyrannical ruler and to place it under a New King (Psalm 2: 1-12, Rev 11: 15-19, Dan 2: 31-45; Dan 7: 9-14).

We (as humans) can partake of this Kingdom through Faith in His Atoning Sacrifice (Isaiah 53: 10-12, John 3: 16-20). The natural world, however, does not have to make confession for sin – IT IS and Has Always Been HIS LAND and Possession (Gen 14: 18-20, Job 34: 19-30)

Therefore, Yahweh God's Promise of Redemption is not for our sakes only, but for The Whole World (John 3: 16-20)

The Prophets all looked forward to the time when “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all His Holy Mountain, Says Yahweh God!” (Isaiah 65: 20-25) for The Whole World will be filled with the Knowledge of the Glory of Yahweh God as the waters cover the seas (Habakkuk 2: 14)

Philip Bell responds

An important clarification: Christ came to redeem fallen people from sin and eternal death. John 3:16-20 does not refer to the physical planet.

It's true that Romans 8:21-22 talks about the deliverance of the earth as a whole, the hope "that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now." However, this must be understood in the context of biblical teaching as a whole. The present heavens and earth is cursed (as the article makes very clear) and reserved for fire (2 Peter 3:7) and will actually be completely destroyed (2 Peter 3:10), making way for a new heavens and earth (Revelation 21:1-4); the Curse having been removed (Revelation 22:3).

Thus, the restoration of a Cursed creation, making way for a 'new' creation must be understood in the context of all the Scriptural teaching. Details of eschatology (End Times teaching) are matters disputed by sincere Christians but this is beyond CMI's remit, for example, the timing and nature of the fulfillment of passages such as Isaiah 65:20-25.

Dez A., Australia, 4 April 2016

Top article, I enjoyed reading it and it definitely encouraged me in my faith.

Fouche M., South Africa, 3 April 2016

Death and evolution.

The mechanism of Darwinist evolution is entirely dependent on death. There can be not “Survival of the fittest” theory without it.

According to Genesis however, death only came into the world after the creation and the fall.

Surely this must cause incompatibility within the modern approach by some Christians of a “pre Genesis” period of evolution.

To me this is one more argument against reconciliation between creation and evolution. These two are mutually exclusive.

Sameer D., India, 2 April 2016

It is injustice of God that Adam and Eve sinned, and everyone including our environment is poluted by the sin? If Adam and Eve sinned they only are responsible for the sin not everyone, not even a dog??

Philip Bell responds

God is perfectly just and holy. Adam and Eve sinned because they rebelled against God's revealed Word (Genesis 2:17), having listened to the serpent's defiant lie, when he said "You will not surely die!" (Genesis 3:4).

All human beings since that time are born in sin, sinners by our very constitution; we don't have to teach our children to sin because (from experience) we see that it's sadly intrinsic to their very nature. We're a fallen race. We, like our first parents, add to our guilt daily by sinning in thought, word and action. King David recognised that his sin was ultimately an offence against his Creator (see Psalm 51:4). Like him, we must recognise our own failure to honour God because of our manifold sins, and our need of God's mercy, forgiveness and cleansing (Psalm 51:1-2).

God's perfect justice was satisfied (and, at the same time, His abundant mercy and divine, unmerited favour was demonstrated) when the Lord Jesus died on the Cross. Judgement and Mercy met at Calvary, the place of crucifixion. All are sinners; we have all fallen far short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and are condemned people (Romans 6:23). God graciously reached down and provided a means of rescuing fallen, lost people by sending His beloved, only Son into the world (Romans 5:8). The Messiah, Jesus, demonstrated God's love by dying in our place and taking the punishment that we deserve. Read these verses slowly and thoughtfully and reflect on what He has done for you personally (John 3:16-18):

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."

When we own up to our sins and cry to God for mercy, it's the first step to abundant life (Romans 10:9-10) that lasts eternally, far beyond this mortal world (John 6:40).

Kerry W., New Zealand, 1 April 2016

While metaphorical interpretation of the curse is inspiring I find it difficult to marry another metaphorical interpretation- "He heals all our diseases" and yet we still live under a curse where Christian believers die of cancerous diseases everyday despite having a faith.

Philip Bell responds

We must be clear that the Curse was an actual, historical event, not a metaphor. I suspect you are referring to the way in which these real events are deeply symbolic; just as the article's authors have explored.

Yes, in this 'Fallen' world, we still live with the very real manifestations of the Curse. Temporary alleviation of the effects of the Curse is possible, in keeping with the dominion mandate given to human beings in Genesis 1:26-28. The prescription of pain relief, medicines designed to cure disease, indeed all attempts to alleviate suffering and ameliorate discomfort, are entirely consistent with God's will and purposes for people in today's world.

However, this present world has a shelf life (it is "reserved for fire", 1 Peter 3:7 & 1 Peter 3:10). The Christian believer looks beyond this groaning world (see Romans 8:18-22) to "a new heaven and a new earth" (Revelation 21:1) where pain, sorrow, crying, even death itself, will be nor more (Revelation 21:4). The key to this fundamental change is revealed in Revelation 22:3, where we see 'the Curse is reversed'; it is no more!

That is part of the Christian's "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13), enabling him/her to soldier on, even when afflicted by cancer or other debilitating and/or terminal illness. This hope of our Saviour Jesus Christ motivates us to pray for those who are struggling (whoever they are), that they will experience both relief from their suffering and the joy and peace of saving faith in Jesus. Ultimately, we strive to have the same faith perspective as the apostle Paul, in Romans 8:18, and also here:

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Julie M., United States, 1 April 2016

I so appreciated this article, shared it, and then forgot to tell you how much I appreciated it! Being a busy mom, it's hard to take the time to remember Good Friday. You really helped me to zero-in on it and make the day meaningful. Plus I learned something new! Thanks and blessings.

John W., Canada, 1 April 2016

I certainly agree with the symbolism of bearing the curse. The author should also have reference to Abraham and the ram caught in the thicket. A thicket is a thorny bush. The ram caught in the thicket, by head and horns, is a shadow of Christ with His thorny crown. The ram replaced Isaac, but there could be no replacement for Jesus.

Mike M., United Kingdom, 1 April 2016

What a horendously cruel and vicious God we worship! He sets a trap for Adam and Eve knowing they will fall, punishes the whole world for their single offence, is only placated by the sacrifice of his Son. (But fails to then remove the thorns!)

The only one to come out of the Creation story with any credit is the honest but cruelly punished serpent!

Philip Bell responds

Those who genuinely worship the God of the Bible would not recognise your caricature. No trap was set for Adam and Eve; rather, the first parents of us all were placed in a garden where all was perfect, ordained for their blessing. Since they were made for relationship with their Creator and one another (and so that they could enjoy the created world), they were not robots; rather, volitional beings. They had the power to choose. They had been warned of the consequences of eating of the one tree that was off-limits (Genesis 2:15-17). Traps are something that people are unaware of, by definition; not at all true of what we read in Genesis 2-3.

The atoning death of God's precious only Son, Jesus, is wonderful Good News to those who recognise that they are dead in sins, but foolishness to those whose hearts reject Him (1 Corinthians 1:23-25). There have always been those who prefer the Serpent's lies to the Word of God (Genesis 3:1, Genesis 3:4); see these sobering words in John 8:44 concerning the devil, the father of lies, and those who follow him.

Thomas D., Germany, 1 April 2016

That's one way to look at the passion week, but you have left out some important details, such as Gen. 3:15 and Rev. 12:12. You have left out the fact that our Bibles contain two "Testaments" which contains this statement by Paul to explain to the Jewish people what's going on: "Now, if someone dies, and leaves a will (Testament) --- a list of things to be given away to certain people when he dies --- no one gets anything until it is proved that he person who wrote the will is dead. (See Rev Chapter 5) The will goes into effect only after the death of the person who wrote it. While he is still alive no one can use it to get any of those things he has promised them." (Heb. 9:16, 17) Evidently Satan had this in mind when he incited the Jewish people, whom our Heavenly Father chose, to get Jesus Christ to finally give up on mankind and go back home. And according the rules, if Jesus Christ doesn't die, then the 'Saved' won't get their reward of eternal life. I'm sorry, but this Article is what I would expect from a Hollywood fiction writer and not from a Christian.

Phil Robinson responds

Thomas, thanks for taking the time to read the article. However, while it seems that you like to quote Bible verses, I am concerned that you do not really understand what they mean. Genesis 3:15, recorded along with the dialogue about the Curse that God has with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, is referred to by theologians as the Protoevangelium, the first mention of the Gospel. In this verse it details that the seed of the woman (Jesus) would later crush the head of the serpent (Satan), which ties in perfectly with the article, as it too links the Curse with the crucifixion. How exactly this would happen is described in greater detail throughout the rest of the Old Testament, with some beautifully detailed prophecies such as Isaiah 53.

Why do we read of Satan's wrath in Revelation 12:12? Because he does indeed know that his time is short, and that the lake of fire beckons him as described in Revelation 20:10. Jesus may have had nails driven into his hands and feet, but these only meant another nail in the ‘coffin’ for Satan. His fate has already been foretold.

Jesus did not give up on mankind, but rather died willingly for us to pay the price for our sin on the cross. Hebrews 9 is quite clear in verse 22 that, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins”, and that by going to the cross, “Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (verse 28). I hope Thomas, that you are one of those eagerly waiting for him.

Ian B., United Kingdom, 1 April 2016

Are you not taking the symbolism too far? No comment about the reed in His hand , what did that stand for? His being whipped, what did that do for the whip? If as you say God caused a human sacrifice to lift the curse off of those who believe, well we seem to have it all here still.. thorns - hard work- pain in childbirth and..... death which I thought was the main point of the curse , none of these have been lifted for those who believe. The bible does not teach that the crown of thorns has any relevance, and ask any Mid East shepherd how grateful they are for the thorns that encircle their flock safely at night, or any home owner who protects vulnerable areas with thorns..Thank God for thorns. Oh and what about hard work...and the pain of childbirth? and death? Because without any of these we would have no place on this earth , we would have no mercy from God and we would have no redemption. I think you could be overstretching the relevance of the crown of thorns , I can understand the thinking behind it, but without biblical support as to its relevance it remains only as speculation, possibly even "inspired" speculation.

Phil Robinson responds

Ian, the reed, unlike the thorns, does not relate back to the Curse. As demonstrated in the article, from the time of their introduction in Genesis 3:17-18, right throughout Scripture, thorns have had symbolic negative overtones firmly pointing back to the Curse. By highlighting the biblical verses in support of this in the article we have shown that this is not speculation, but well founded. The reed was part of the ‘outfit’ that the soldiers used to mock Jesus as they knelt before him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Many people today still try and mock Jesus, going even further, denying his rightful kingship over this world.

I understand what you are trying to say in relation to the middle-eastern shepherd using thorns to protect their flock or home owners protecting their home, but you seem to ignore that we are now living in a fallen world in which protection of such things is an unfortunate necessity.

The fact that people are sinful and commit burglaries, or that animals now kill each other are big reminders that we now live in a world of sin and death. These things are still present as the creation is not yet liberated from its bondage to decay, but we know that God has set a time in the future when it will be redeemed and, “He [God] will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4). Praise God for His mercy in coming to dwell among us, pay the price for our sin on the cross, and adopt those who through faith and repentance become his children, to dwell with him in resurrection bodies forever in that place without death or tears. Amen.

Richard R., Trinidad and Tobago, 1 April 2016

Interesting concepts concerning thorns and thistles. Equally, a thought came to mind concerning the fossils of thorns. The law of thermodynamics would have facilitated physical death of plants and dinosaurs before the gap of thousands of years (Lucifer cast out of Heaven) where God re-plenishes the earth once more, and satan introduces the 'sting of sin' to man in Eden.

Philip Bell responds

The law of thermodynamics did not begin at the Fall/Curse; please see point no. 3 in this article. Fossil thorns post-date this sad chapter of history but are easily explained by the Flood of Noah's time, about which the Bible devotes several whole chapters (Genesis 6-9). The idea of what it sometimes termed 'Lucifer's Flood', as part of the alleged gap between the first two verses of Genesis 1, falls foul of a number of important Scriptures (see several articles under 'Gap Theory' on this page.

Shane B., Australia, 31 March 2016

I find it surprising how so many people overlook the crown of thorns. Life is difficult these days, like thorns and thistles. We struggle in our minds and it's like thorns in our minds, just as Jesus had thorns into His head. Relating it back to the Garden of Eden showed just how God had the perfect plan of redemption to restore man and redeem man back to himself. The reminder to take into account every aspect of Jesus suffering to the cross, on the cross, and beyond the cross to rise again and recognise that God displayed it through scripture before He sent His Son Jesus to die for us is incredible. I am reminded that in my personal life Jesus died specifically for me, and an aspect of Jesus suffering forgives my shortcoming. Thanks for sharing about the thorns.

J. G., Australia, 31 March 2016

This is but part of the story. Under the Mosaic law it states cursed is a man if he fails to keep any one of these laws. In Galations it says that Jesus became a curse for us. and cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree. Yes it is no mere coincidence that the king was crowned with thorns.

Paul M., New Zealand, 31 March 2016

I think this is a great and powerful point to make about the the thorns, but its not necessary to allegorise the text to suit the idea, rather than using the idea to illustrate the fullness of Christ's atonement. It is alright to say 'This is here, it can remind us of this' rather than to say "God hath said"... You could go as far to say that the animal teeth in the Roman scourging whips reminds us that not all animals used to eat flesh, but it is unnecessary to do so in this context.

Philip Bell responds

In fact, biblical allegories (representations of spiritual meaning) only really work if that to which they refer are concrete, material things. Only if all thorns post-date the literal Curse, do God's words carry any meaning (see Genesis 3:17-18); if actual thorns were in the world before God spoke these words to Adam, the fruit of the Curse was in the world before He cursed it! Moreover, Christ's thorny crown would be emptied of its significance.

Vitaliy H., Ukraine, 28 March 2016

The topic picked up in the article is great.

Since Easter in my country is on May the 1st, I have been preparing a sermon on the sign God the Holy Spirit put on Jesus' head in the beginning of His ministry. It was a dove which every single Jew knew was a sacrificial bird.

How amazing now God arranged in the very end of Christ's ministry a thorny crown to be placed on the same spot in order to vividly show what this sacrifice is to be brought for.

This article just almost made my sermon.

Many thanks for you and the Holy Spirit who teaches us all about Christ.

Hans G., Australia, 28 March 2016

"In God’s originally perfect creation Adam and Eve, when created on Day Six, were placed in the Garden of Eden."

Wasn't Eve created after Adam was placed in the Garden?

The thorn article fit perfectly to know Him and the purpose of His life better.

Philip Bell responds

Genesis 2 brings out details of God's creation of humankind (male and female) and events of the sixth day, expanding on what we read in chapter 1. Yes, Genesis 2:15 places Adam in Eden prior to the creation of Eve (Genesis 2:21-22). The article doesn't contradict this. Both Adam and Eve were created on Day Six (Genesis 1:26-31) and placed in the garden, albeit that "Adam was formed first, then Eve" (1 Timothy 2:13).

Ken C., Canada, 28 March 2016

Thank you for this article. I never thought about the crown of thorns in that way.

Yet with thorns and thistles one can’t help but marvel at the intricate beauty and aroma that the flowers of such plants bring forth. From a Christian perspective, a rose for example is a symbol of heaven and harmony in the world and that nothing is perfect thus the saying "Every rose has its thorn". The color purple, which is often the color of the thistle’s flower is a symbol of royalty and nobility.

Christ was indeed a flower (a symbol of love) amongst the thorns and thistles (in a sinful world).

David B., Canada, 27 March 2016

I wholeheartedly agree with the conclusion of this article!

A great thing that Jesus has been teaching me the last few years, is that everything Christ did was by design. Since He was perfect, nothing He could have done was out of step with perfection and God's perfect will. The Spirit was leading Him into all Truth in everything He did.

This gives me great comfort when I am reading verses and they strike me as odd in the way they are put. It causes me to stop and think a little deeper about why He said what He said in that way and it almost always helps me to come to a deeper understanding of the way God thinks.

This also builds my confidence when it comes to 'difficult' verses. I know in my heart that God knew what He was saying when He said what He said. He knew how we would react to it in our flawed, fleshly minds Old and New Testament but He said it that way anyway.

He did not make it easy for us. He could have, but instead, like a Teacher and a Father, He gave us those difficult verses to chew on, sometimes for years and sometimes for decades, in order to toughen our minds and thought processes. That is what I have found. Thinking on the difficult verses has raised my ability to think critically.

So if you see something 'odd' (out of step with the way the world thinks) in the Word, it is there for a reason and one of those reasons is to strengthen your mind and reveal Him in a greater way.

Elsie C., Australia, 26 March 2016

That was really enlightening, thank you. I will use it as I can.

Tonie S., Canada, 25 March 2016

Thank you for this message, it was truly edifying.

Katharina R., Canada, 25 March 2016

Thank-you so much for this! I had not made the connection between Genesis and Jesus' thorny crown before. It is truly powerful!! The more articles I read from CMI, the more astounded I am at how intertwined the Old and New Testaments are. Keep up the good work and have a blessed Easter!

Christopher C., Canada, 25 March 2016

Thank you for this. I had not thought about the crown of thorns in this way before. I will ponder on this more deeply today as I prepare for the solemn celebration this afternoon.

John Z., Canada, 25 March 2016

It is almost unbelievable how intricately the events of passover, Good Friday and Resurrection are tied to the beginning of Genesis, as well as to other events and prophesies in scripture. Thanks for reminding me about the crown of thorns, and the thorny curse. The thorny question is whether we can recognize and welcome God's mercy to us in the gift of His Son.

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