“Those were my nails
That was my crown
That pierced Your hands and Your brow
Those were my thorns
Those were my scorns
Those were my tears that fell down.”
So go the lyrics from On My Cross by FFH, a Lancaster contemporary band in 2005. Yet the concept of thorns is as ancient as the fall of mankind, where we find Adam hiding in his new place of shame. These were my thorns, your thorns, the evidence of a curse brought on by our sins. “Thorns also, shall it bring forth to thee;” (Gen. 3:18 KJV).
Was the curse God’s idea, or does sin carry its own wrath? My mind is more capable of questions than answers these days.
The scriptures tell us that before the foundation of the Earth, Christ was foreordained as a sacrifice for our sins. Were all the narrative of scriptures and the Law of singular purpose, that being to point us to this sovereign moment when this ancient curse would be removed? Our sins borne by a man nailed to a tree, a lamb sacrificed for our sins, a story well defined by the requirements of the law, bringing all of us finally to full justice? This justice, once starkly administered, would surely relieve us of any misgivings that sin might had conjured against this God of both justice and love?
Had God so loved the world he would one day create, that He fashioned a plan for its redemption, even before its fall? A plan that would require Himself to take on our flesh, even our sins, the sins He knew would be forthcoming given the pressures of exposure to a foe that He alone could defeat? Did He know that one day vicious men, in the name of the very religion God Himself would craft, would mock him with a crown of thorns, the very product of their own sins? Could the language of Genesis, even the creation of the thorn, be His foreknowledge and accommodation of where we as humans would go left to the depravity of sin and hate? Can you not see what this God of love is doing to bring us home?
What a picture, even in Abraham’s day, when God drove Him up a mountain, demanding the sacrifice of His only son; only to provide a ram, caught in a thicket…its wool most probably well knitted among thorns! Knowing our sinful need for works over grace, God began crafting a religion built around sacrificial lambs, well aware that when He, the Lamb of God finally came, born in a shepherd’s manger, He too would be slain!
“And just as You said it would be
You did it all for me
After You counted the cost
You took my shame, my blame
On my cross”
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