Sunday, March 25, 2012

Your Mission: Why Wear a Hat This Week

We traipsed through the Little Hundred Acre Woods again just last week and paused by the osage orange thorn bush growing wild in the fence line. Although Spring has come early, its branches have yet to show its beauty in bloom.

My farmer husband calls it a horrid weed to be painted with full strength RoundUp. My children know it as "a crown of thorns," a plant that is so precious, one must touch it gently, examine it, discuss it repeatedly and at length, all because its prickly branches are a reminder of our Savior's suffering.

Years ago, my mother fashioned some of the wild branches into a circlet, an Easter decoration to focus her family on Christ's pain and sacrifice before the beauty of the resurrection. My three children beg for the privilege of placing that literal crown of thorns of tender heads each time they visit. When they are finally granted permission, it is never with grins but is always a serious, somber moment, for this crown, too, will pierce and draw blood.

My oldest, Wyatt, named it a "God hat," and I haven't been able to think of it otherwise since.

John 19:2 describes Christ on the day of His crucifixion: "And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put [it] on his head, and they put on him a purple robe."

Those thorns, though, didn't just sprout from the earth on that day. They had been growing all across the earth's surface, digging in deep and entwining their roots around the sin-stained heart of mankind ever since that day back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve chose disobedience and became permanently separated from intimacy with God.

Those thorns were part of the curse, when God said, "Cursed is the ground because of you...It will produce thorns and thistles for you" (Gen. 3:17-18).

Hanging on that cross, Christ both symbolically and literally took the curse of sin represented by the curse of thorns upon Himself.

Righteousness became unrighteous. Sinlessness because sin for all time. The curse of Eden came full circle and pierced the head of the One who had come to undo its power.
Earlier, Christ spoke of thorns in a parable, thorns that "grew up and choked it [the Word], and it yielded no fruit" (Mar. 4:7). It was these same thorns that He willingly bowed His head to accept so that we may be able to bear fruit in Him.

Without His taking on that crown, that curse, we would be like the ground that "yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned" (Heb. 6:8).

As Palm Sunday grows ever closer, we must remember the thorny crown that our Kingly Savior chose to wear so that we would not. I'm challenging you to do what I plan to do--take one day this week and wear a hat--any hat. When you do, let its presence remind you of the weight of that "God hat" crown of thorns placed on His head for you and me.

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