Matthew 27:28-30—And they stripped him and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
Once the Roman governor, Pilate, pronounced the sentence, the soldiers had their fun with Jesus. I’m sure they would rather have worked over Barabbas, the zealot, but this Jewish teacher would have to do. The charge was that He claimed to be king, so they put a robe of regal red on him and made Him a crown out of thorns. The plant they most likely used is called “Crown of Thorns” today. Its spikes are two to three inches in length. As the first couple was being expelled from the Garden of Eden, God told Adam that thorns would come up from the ground, making his efforts to till the soil difficult. In our passage today, the second Adam is taking the curse of the thorns on His head. He is taking the curse of sin upon Himself that we might be free of it. Jesus had already been beaten and spit upon by the religious leaders. Now it was the secular government’s turn. After the scourging, He would have had no strength to resist. They put a stick in His hand pretending it to be a staff of authority and bowed in mockery. Then they would wrench the stick from Him and beat Him over the head again and again. This is the Lord of glory that formed them and gave them life. He knows their lineage back to Adam. He knows the number of hairs on their head. He is about to pay for their sins with His own death that they might have a chance to live. When the soldiers had grown tired of their game of mockery, they placed a beam on His torn shoulders and tied His arms to it. A rope was probably placed about His waist, with a soldier at the other end, leading Him to the place of execution. We wonder how a man can be so cold, so heartless. Jesus would soon say they did not know what they were doing. If Jesus can overlook such abuse, knowing that man is ignorant, how much more should we overlook words and actions that offend us? He did nothing to deserve the abuse. But oh how many times we have. He has been so gracious to forgive our ignorance. Let us forgive others for theirs.