Find transcripts of all our sermons here!

Divine Service

Sermon drawn up and delivered
by Dr Heinrich Lottering sC
via the Divine Guidance of the

12 October 2014 AD: Crown of Thorns Stephanos ex Ekantha

Symbolism of Thorns

Genesis 3:16-18 “He told the Woman: "I'll multiply your pains in childbirth; you'll give birth to your babies in pain. You'll want to please your husband, but he'll lord it over you." He told the Man: "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree That I commanded you not to eat from, 'Don't eat from this tree,' The very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground Will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you'll be working in pain all your life long. The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you'll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting”

Ezekiel 28:23 “Say, 'Message from GOD, the Master: "'Look! I'm against you, Sidon. I intend to be known for who I truly am among you.' They'll know that I am GOD when I set things right and reveal my holy presence. I'll order an epidemic of disease there, along with murder and mayhem in the streets. People will drop dead right and left, as war presses in from every side. Then they'll realize that I mean business, that I am GOD. No longer will Israel have to put up with their thistle-and-thorn neighbors Who have treated them so contemptuously. And they also will realize that I am GOD”

Exodus 28:36-38 "Make a plate of pure gold. Engrave on it as on a seal: 'Holy to GOD.' Tie it with a blue cord to the front of the turban. It is to rest there on Aaron's forehead. He'll take on any guilt involved in the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate, no matter what they bring. It will always be on Aaron's forehead so that the offerings will be acceptable before GOD”

Numbers 35:25 “It's the task of the community to save the killer from the hand of the avenger--the community is to return him to his asylum-city to which he fled. He must stay there until the death of the High Priest who was anointed with the holy oil”

Let us start to look at the symbolism of thorns in the Old Testament. In Genesis after the Fall of man, when the Lord cursed the ground two important things came about. Firstly that from the ground plants will come forth that are prickly (Hebrew word 'kotse' means to prick or sharp), and secondly that man shall loose his immortality and return to the ground from which he was made.

In the above mentioned Scripture in Ezekiel we see GOD referring to antagonistic neighbours/ enemies of Israel as “thorns”. There are many other Scriptures also using the symbolism of toil, punishment and suffering in thorns!

Moving for a moment to the sacred dress of he high priest in Israel, he wore a blue head turban and attached to it a gold medallion with the word “Set apart to God”. Wearing this medallion he was responsible for the whole Israel's guilt regarding the sacred gifts

Interestingly enough there were also six cities of refuge throughout Israel where an individual who by accident killed someone could flee and be protected from the revenging family – they had to stay in such a refuge city until the high priest died, then they were free of their guilt

 Putting all these facts together we find the strong symbolism of thorns as punishment, the high priest of Israel wearing a headdress which make him carry guilt on behalf of the whole nation and when he died, their was hope and grace for those who should have paid the penalty of their wrong deeds. Keep this in mind as we move over to section two....


Hebrews 4:14-18 “Now that we know what we have--Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God--let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all--all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help”

Matthew 27:27-29 “The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor's palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped him and dressed him in a red toga. They plaited a crown from branches of a thorn bush and set it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand for a sceptre. Then they knelt before him in mocking reverence: "Bravo, King of the Jews!" they said. "Bravo!"

1 Corinthians 15:20-21 “But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He became the first fruit of those having fallen asleep. For since death is through man, also through a Man is a resurrection of the dead”

Hebrews 2:9 “but we do see Jesus crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death was made a little less than the angels, so that by the grace of God He might taste of death for all”

Our Lord was crowned with a crown of sharp thorns while the Roman battalion humiliated Him. After wards they proceeded to assault Him and beat Him to a state of non recognition – how awesome is this fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies of thorns, high priest headgear and forgiveness with the death of the high priest!!

The first Adam brought death to the entire human race by his disobedience, while Jesus Christ the second or 'restoring' Adam brought life and redemption to the entire human race via His sacrificial torture and death

Our High Priest also wore a an 'adorning' head of ensure that when He died we were forever released and forgiven for our sins and our places of bondage (city of refuge).


2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we all must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to what he did, whether good or bad”

1 Corinthians 3:11-13 “For no one is able to lay any other foundation beside the One having been laid, who is Jesus Christ. And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, the work of each will be revealed; for the Day will make it known, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire will prove the work of each, what sort it is. If the work of anyone which he built remains, he will receive a reward”

2 Timothy 4:8 “Now there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that Day; and not to me only, but also to all those who love His appearing”

James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who endures temptation, because having been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”

Revelation 2:10 “Do not at all fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the Devil will cast some of you into prison, so that you may be tried. And you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life”

1 Peter 5:2-4 “Feed the flock of God among you, taking the oversight, not by compulsion, but willingly; nor for base gain, but readily; nor as lording it over those allotted to you by God, but becoming examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory”

1 Thessalonian 2:19 “For what is our hope or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are you not even to be in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?”

1 Corinthians 9:25 “And everyone who strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Then those truly that they may receive a incorruptible crown, but we an incorruptible”

Revelation 3:11 “the twenty four elders fall down before Him sitting on the throne; and they will worship the One living to the ages of the ages, and will throw their crowns before the throne, saying, Lord, You are worthy to receive the glory and the honour and the power, because You created all things, and through Your will they exist and were created”

There awaits us a prize ceremony in front of Jesus' throne

We will receive heavenly crowns for @ longing for His return @ for loving Him @ Shepherding others @ Evangelising and winning souls for Him @ for enduring through many will you get?

Crown of Life Loving Jesus and suffering for Him
Crown of Glory Shepherding His Flock
Crown of Rejoicing Winning souls for Jesus
Crown of Righteousness Longing for His Second Advent
Incorruptible Crown Striving for spiritual maturity

These crowns is not like the laurel crown of old that wilt and dry out – these will be eternal crowns!!

Endeavour here on earth to win every crown and hold on to them with everything you have!!

Our Saviour became man and for a while was made lower then angels, now He has been glorified and are crowned with many crowns...victorious in heaven!!

One day we will stand next to Him, crowned with many crowns as well!