The paradox is palpable.
The soldiers made a crown of vicious thorns and placed it on Jesus’ head. They did this sarcastically, to make a mockery of Him. Take that, “King of the Jews.” (Mark 15:2) The bawdy Romans were oblivious to the symbolism of their actions.
In the beginning, thorns were the consequence–the punishment–of Adam’s sin. Once Adam and Eve chose to distrust God, they could no longer live in the perfect garden. God told Adam, “I will produce thorns and thistles for you.” (Genesis 3:18) So, what the soldiers meant for a cheap laugh could not have been more sobering. Thorns are a symbol for sin, and on that day, Jesus wore our sin. Jesus did not fight back. He willingly received the emblem of iniquity. And as the mocking continued, as soldiers gambled for Jesus’ meager worldly possessions, we hear Him cry out to His Abba, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
In our human minds, it is almost impossible to imagine Jesus praying for the people who tortured Him. But we must remember, forgiveness was the very reason Jesus came and the reason that He willingly died on the cross (John 12:47).
In this lesson, we take a front row seat to the harrowing events that unfolded that day. We see that this was no random hate crime; this was God’s plan for salvation. To help kids understand the precision of the plan, we detail the animal sacrifice that had previously been required as the substitute for sin. And in so doing, we see that Jesus fulfilled all the requirements. Perfectly. Our kids will understand that Jesus’ willingness to endure the cross is the only way for us to be free from the punishment and the power of sin.
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. – 2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT
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The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:27-44; Mark 15:16-32; Luke 23:26-43; John 19:16-27)