Thorns: The Curse of Adam. The Crown of Christ.

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Tonight I read a wonderful sermon by H. Macmillan. He was a preacher in the 1800s. I have never heard or read a sermon about the thorns Jesus wore. Mr. Macmillan ties them to the thorns that were allowed to grow after Adam’s fall.

“And God said to Adam he 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.” Genesis 3:17,18

I’ve never studied how thorns grow, but Mr. Macmillan did. It’s quite interesting. He writes, “A bud by some means or other becomes abortive; there is a deficiency of nutriment to stimulate its growth; it does not develop into blossom and fruit. Its growing point, therefore, is hardened; its scaly envelopes are consolidated into woody fibre, and the whole bud becomes a sharp thorn.” 

Leaves are also occasionally arrested in their development and changed into thorns, as in the stipules of Robinia, of the common barberry, and of several species of acacia. The middle nerve of the leaf in a few instances absorbs to itself all the parenchyma or green cellular substance, and therefore hardens into a thorn; and in the holly all the veins of the leaves become spiny. In all these cases thorns are not necessary, but accidental appendages, growths arrested and transformed by unfavourable circumstances; and nature, by the law of compensation…”

He also explains how if we cultivate the land in an area for some years and then leave it to itself, it will then grow more thorns and weeds than before. He compares that to our lives in Christ. We must cultivate the soil of our hearts each day by prayer and Bible study. If we do not, weeds and thorns will grow of themselves. Our only protection against this is Jesus living inside of us.

Then he writes of Jesus and how he accepted the crown of thorns – a symbol of sin. 

 “Jesus had, therefore, to wear the thorns which man’s sin had developed, in order that man might enjoy the peaceful fruits of righteousness which Christ’s atonement had produced. And what is the result?

By wearing these thorns He has blunted them, plucked them out of our path, out of our heart, out of our life. By enduring them He conquered them. The crown of pain became the crown of triumph; and the submission to ignominy and suffering became the assertion and establishment of sovereignty over every form of suffering. Evil is now a vanquished power.”

Thank you Jesus for wearing a crown of thorns for us. Thank you for becoming sin itself for us. Thank you for your courage, endurance and patience as you went through terrible suffering for us.

To read H.Macmillan’s sermons go to: http://biblehub.com/sermons/authors/macmillan.htm

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