Sunday 21st March (5th Sunday in Lent)
Song: The Power of the Cross / When I survey the Wondrous Cross
The theme this week is humiliation, and we’re thinking today particularly of the crown of thorns:
They read a bit at the beginning of that last song from Isaiah 53 – talking about Jesus and the humiliation and how much He bore for us. Reading a bit more from Isaiah 53:
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7-9)
As we’re thinking about the humiliation Jesus suffered before He was crucified and the crown of thorns that was put on His head, He could have said something, He could have done all sorts of things, but He bore the humiliation and suffering for us. He would have known this part of Isaiah and the prophecies that there were, and He knew that this was what He was going to have to suffer and yet He willingly suffered that humiliation for us.
We can’t even begin to imagine, can we? There have probably been times in our lives when we’ve been humiliated – usually because we’ve done something ridiculous or stupid or something of our making and we just want to hide away in a corner or defend ourselves. But Jesus hadn’t done anything to deserve that humiliation, and yet He was willing to bear that.
In preparing for this, I found a comment someone had written that the crown of thorns was a reminder of two things. One that Jesus IS a King – even though the soldiers were mocking Him, and secondly the crown of thorns is a sign of our sin and shame – in Genesis, God created a world without thorns and thistles, but when sin came into the world and a curse was put on the land which now produced thorns, so the thorns are a reminder that Jesus was bearing our sin on His head.
Song: Come & see
Song: What love my God
Reading: Matthew 27:27-31
Song: Man of sorrows