How can something that results in so much pain be so beautiful? This was the question that went through my head as I stared at the plant in the window. It had such beautifully colored flowers on it but behind those flowers was a long stem of huge thorns! It reminded me of when we were weeding the rose garden in Texas and I got stuck with rose thorns. The next day my finger hurt SO bad from this tiny little rose thorn I can’t imagine the pain that would come from the gigantic thorns on this plant.
Then a thought went through my mind that truly pierced my heart, “Imagine how Jesus felt with that crown of thorns thrust into the tender skin on his head.” One of our teachers from missions school showed us a picture of what Jesus’ crown of thorns probably looked like.
Being a person who has a pain tolerance that is below zero I find myself completely unable to imagine the pain that Jesus suffered for us the day of His death. I can’t imagine the emotional pain of being betrayed by all of your closest friends. I’ve never been able to fathom what the beating must have been like; I can’t fully appreciate the exhaustion Jesus felt as he carried the cross after being nearly beaten to death. My mind can’t begin to grasp the amount of pain that coursed through His body as the nails were driven into His wrists and His feet. I’m unable to comprehend what it must’ve been like to suffer on the cross for hours, and then on top of it all He bore the weight of all of our sins ever commited. Amidst all this suffering the crown of thorns has gotten lost for me. It’s such a brief description in the Bible: 17 They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18 And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. (Mark 15:17-19) These flowers have opened my mind and given me just a small glimpse of what Jesus endured. The pain I felt in my hand from 1 thorn stick and the pain I can only imagine would result from these flowers in the picture above doesn’t even begin to compare to what Jesus endured for ME. For me and for you and for every one of us so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have the relationship with God that we were always intended to have if we will only accept it.
As I think about these things today I find myself again wondering “How can something that resulted in so much pain be so beautiful?” Jesus experienced emotional pain, physical pain, and the weight of all of our sins which resulted in separation from God. He did all this so He could give us new life in Him free from the condemnation of sin. Notice if you start at the base of this plant or of a rose bush and work your way out you have to go through a lot of painful thorns but at the end there is a beauty that makes it all worthwhile. In the end it’s all worth it and that’s what I believe carried Jesus through those horribly painful things. He could see the beauty at the end of the pain, the beauty of redeeming us and spending all of eternity with us…with YOU and me…His beloved. May we never forget the significance of this day when we remember the beautiful pain that Jesus endured for us! It is indeed a “Good” Friday! Thank you Jesus!