I’m a HUGE fan of flowers. The rose particularly. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see that almost every other picture in my feed has a rose or bouquet of them.
My husband knows that I love them too. Whenever he comes home late from work (like “see you tomorrow” late), he ALWAYS gives a bouquet of long-stemmed roses for me. It’s the sweetest thing.
One morning as I was unwrapping the plastic and preparing to put my BEAUTIFUL bouquet of roses in water, I was pricked and cut by the thorns. SHARP, LONG THORNS. I bled a little. The stinging from the cut lingered a little. However, I stared in admiration as roses sat gorgeous and fragrant on the dining room table.
I can do without them when dressing my flowers but there’s much significance in them. Yes, even painful things have its place.
Thorns on flowers (particularly roses) act as a protective mechanism from animals wanting to steal or destroy them because of the enticing fragrant smell. Thorns also signify sorrow and pain.
Being that it’s Holy Week, I can’t help but think of the long, sharp crown of thorns painfully lodged in Jesus’ head while preparing to be a sinless sacrifice on the cross for us. The pain that I endured when getting pricked by one thorn didn’t compare to how He felt.
“And they (the soldiers) clothed Him (Jesus) with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head,”
(Mark 15:17 NKJV with emphasis added)
The crown of thorns meant for humiliation. Jesus wore that shameful crown while protecting us from the judgment and eternal death that we so rightfully deserve as sinners. He also took on and endured the pain and sorrow for humanity so that we could live. Not only live in this life but for eternity and glory with Him.
Like a rose, Jesus had to be our solid stem with thorns. While He’s our protector, He also is a man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus on the cross felt the brokenness, pain, and sin of humanity. In wearing the crown of thorns while dying and nailed on the cross, He bled. He bled for all of us. We would think that Jesus dying would be the end of the story. Instead, something else happens.
At the very top of the stem of a rose, there are the petals. The BEAUTIFUL rose itself. I often view it as the crown or glory of the flower. When Jesus rose from the grave, he trades the crown of thorns for His crown of glory. How beautiful is He when glorified! How even more awesome that we too get to share in that glory!
We no longer have to look at the thorns as we focus on the glory.
This Holy Week, as we celebrate the death and the triumphant resurrection of Jesus, let us not forget nor despise the thorns. We can’t have a crown of glory without it. While the sharp, long thorns are painful, they lend greater meaning. Like me, if you find yourself handing some thorny roses, let it be a reminder of what Jesus did for us.