What does the crown of thorns define what does it stand for or what does it mean?

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August 19, 2008 6:00PM

The Crown of Thorns has no real symbolic interpretation. When

Jesus was crucified the jumped-up charge was first of blasphemy

because 'he claimed to be God' (as the pharisees and priests said).

However, this would not be a capital punishment issue according to

the Romans because no legal execution could be performed except by

them (despite illicit stonings performed by lynch-mobs in dark

alleys), and blasphemy, in their eyes, did not deserve capital

punishment. To cope with this the priests and pharisees then used

the tack that Jesus claimed to have authority in the 'Kingdom of

God' - in other words he declared himself a king. To declare

oneself a king was an issue with the Romans as this was seen

as treason agaist the Roman emperor. "If you free this man," said

the pharisees, "you are no friend of Caesar". Therefore the weak

Pilate had no option but to authorise his execution. At the

crucifixion, to fulfil prophesies about him, Jesus was mocked by

the guards, and they weaved a 'crown' for the new 'king' - out of

thorns which dug into his scalp. so the crown was simply a device

for mocking Jesus, and for inflicting even more pain on him. To

suggest that there are hidden ''symbolic" meanings is a little

contrived and has no basis in scripture. Incidentally, it was

traditional for the crime of an executed man to be written on a

board and nailed on the cross above his head - as a warning to

others. In Jesus' case, the 'crime' read "Jesus of Nazareth, the

King of the Jews" in Hebrew, Greek and Latin - the three languages

common in that area. When the pharisees complained saying that they

wanted the wording changed to "He said he was the king of

the Jews", Pilate refused, stating that what he had written would

stay written. Thus the weak leader Pilate at least had some grip on

what Jesus' role actually was, and although he would go down in

history as a feeble leader and the man who authorised Christ's

execution, one can argue that, because Jesus' salvation was the

result of that very execution, Pilate was actually doing God's work

- and this last act of defiance might make us think a little more

about this man's inner strength.

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