Picture Jesus on the cross. A plain, wooden cross. A tree cut to fit the body vertically with hands outstretched. Stakes of iron, piercing the feet and hands, holding the body on the cross. A crown of thorns, worthless, nothing-but-pain thorns. A body, clad with a crown of thorns, draped in the deep crimson of blood, bound to the cross with stakes of iron, crying out for the forgiveness of those who opened the wounds, wove the crown, built the cross. That is Jesus Christ.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,”
1 Peter 3:18 ESV
We are the thorns. His love is the blood. His determination is the stakes. His forgiveness is everlasting.
Thorns are worthless, undesired, cast aside and never hoped or longed for. They are painful, good for nothing but piercing pain. We are the thorns that make up the crown of Christ. We are the painful, undesired people He holds high and considers of great worth. We are the people that receive His love.
The love of Christ was shown through blood, for nothing else would suffice except for the blood of His life. One of the symbolic meanings behind the color crimson is a deep, passionate love. And that is what Christ has, that is what Christ is. He loved us so much that he allowed Himself to be tortured and executed in the cruelest way mankind could come up with, just to redeem us. He was determined.
The stakes, most likely iron, in His hands and feet, bound Him to the cross. Iron is often thought of as symbolizing determination, and that is what kept Him on the cross. His love was so great that He was determined to redeem us no matter the cost, for He considered us worth it. He had legions of angels, waiting on His call to come rescue Him from pain, yet He did not call them. He bore the pain, physically and spiritually, and asked for the forgiveness of those murdering Him! That is determination.
We were worth nothing, yet he wanted to hold us close. We caused only pain, yet He only yielded love in return. And for this price, this price that Christ lovingly paid, we are merely asked to give our lives to Him. Not just physically, but also spiritually and mentally. We are to do everything for Him. For His glory.
What have we done? What will we do? Be a worthless thorn, or accept His worth, His love, His sacrifice, His calling?
Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, God Himself did not care what it took. He only cared that He considered you worth it. He considered me worth it. He left heaven, left omniscience, omnipower, and omnipresence. He humbled Himself and took on the form of man. The form of me and you. And He submitted Himself to the Father. Not only giving His entire life to the glory of God as an example for us to follow, but even to the point that He sacrificed Himself. Submitting Himself to torture and execution just to save those who were executing Him.