A Crown of Thorns, Replaced with a Crown of Glory - Easter Sunday

A Crown of Thorns 
Replaced with a Crown of Glory
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
April 1, 2018
Easter Sunday

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Matthew 27:27-50

Jesus, King of the Jews
When Jesus was crucified, they hung an inscription above His head that said…  “THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”- Matthew 27:37

This image of Jesus as a king is found throughout scripture (Isaiah 9:6, John 12:15, I Timothy 6:15, Matthew 27:11).  Even the criminal on the cross, said to Jesus, when you come into your kingdom remember me (Luke 23:42) meaning that he knew, Jesus was a King. 

And when we become Christians, this is what we are saying too… That Jesus is our King. Romans 10:9 says "If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

And when we confess that Jesus is Lord, essentially we are pledging our allegiance and obedience to Jesus Christ.  This is what it means to believe IN Him. 

Everywhere in scripture it talks about being saved, it says we must believe IN Him.  I think we often miss that little word IN… But the word IN adds a lot of significance to the word believe. 

Believing “IN” Jesus is more than just believing “THAT” Jesus… Believing IN Jesus to save you is more than believing that He can save.  Believing IN Jesus is more than just believing THAT He died for us and rose again. 

And to believe IN Jesus means action!  It means our actions must follow our words. Let me illustrate this by giving you an example of a diet plan.

For example, I can believe THAT a diet is good for me.  I can believe THAT a particular diet will work (keto, atkins, low carb, etc…).  I can even see THAT a diet has caused other people to lose weight.

But I can believe all these things without believing IN a diet.  To believe IN a diet I must commit to following that diet.  And the way we commit to a diet is by actually doing what the diet tells us to do (and not do). And it’s only when I start believing IN the diet by going ON the diet that the diet will work.

And the same is true for Jesus and salvation… To believe IN him, we must commit.  We must actually try to do what He tells us to do and not do what He tells us not to.  Fortunately, unlike a diet, our salvation is not determined on how well we actually do what He tells us to… but as long as we are trying…and trusting Jesus as our savior, then we’ll begin to see change in our lives. 

And if we believe IN Jesus by confessing Him as lord, that means He Is our King.

His Scars
I was watching a movie not too long ago.  And in this movie there was a king.  And this king…looked like a king. I mean, he had the look.  He looked like he had been through many battles, which I’m assuming he has won.  He had a scar above his left eye, he had a patch over his right eye.  His skin looks like it has weathered many storms.  And all of these things show you a king who has been to battle to protect his kingdom and man who has lived a lot of life and has learned much from that life.  He is man who has survived all these things and yet is still alive, he must be wise.  This man looks like a great king because of his scars. 

And thing is, that Jesus, our king… has scars too.  But his scars didn’t come from battles or a long hard life.  In fact, before Jesus came to earth, Jesus was perfect.  He had no scars…there was not a battle He couldn’t not fight and win without a single scratch.  He was perfect. 

But now, Jesus has many scars.  You see, Jesus came to earth, not to condemn the earth but to save the earth.  God’s desire is to live with man.  To be our God and for us to be His people, but the problem is, we cannot enter heaven because of our sin. 

And here is the thing, every one of our sins, wounds us.  Every time we sin, there is huge scar left behind.  We don’t often realize this, but in the same way that a drug addict can’t see what drugs are doing to his own life, until he get’s clean, we cannot fully understand just how damaging sin is to our lives until Jesus begins to change us. 

So, our spiritual lives are full of scars and wounds.  Spiritually speaking, we look pretty rough.  And since we are so broken and so imperfect, we cannot enter heaven.  There is only 1 way we can get to heaven and that is by believing in Jesus to save us from our sins, to remove our scars and making us perfect once again. 

And the way He does this… is by taking on the scars from our sins, the scars which are rightfully ours.  Jesus who was perfect and without a scratch, came to earth voluntarily so that when we face judgment and we stand before Him full of scars, He can remove every wound we have from sin and take it on himself. 

You see, our king’s scars didn’t come from a battle.  Our king’s scars came from us, His people.  And He did this voluntarily, as a sacrifice for us, because that’s how much he loves us.  This is how a true king acts.  He lays down his life for his people.  And that is just what Jesus did.

I don’t know if Jesus will retain those scars for eternity as a reminder, while we live in perfectly restored bodies and spirits or if He will also be restored… We do know that He had scars when He came back to life, He told doubting Thomas to touch them.

A Crown of Thorns Replaced with a crown of glory
But what I do know… is that for now, our king wears a crown of thorns.  When He came to earth, He was beaten, He was whipped.  And the physical scars He received, represent the spiritual scars that He will take from us and put on Himself.  The nails driven into His hands and feet, represent the sacrifice that Jesus will go through to take on our sin.  And spear that was driven into His side all the way to His heart, show just how deep our sin hurts Him.

Jesus is a king who took on our scars, when He was perfect.  No battle before, no enemy, nothing… has given Jesus a scar, except our sins. 

Now this is someone to believe IN.  Who else would do this for you?  The answer is no one.  All other religions…ask you to earn your way into heaven.  Jesus simply asks you to believe IN Him by confessing that He is your master.

And here is the most glorious thing… One day, those who place their faith in Jesus, will see His crown of thorns be replaced by a crown of Glory. And in that moment we will truly understand that He is our king, our savior. 

Revelation 21:1-7
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.
5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the thirsty from the spring of the water of life. 7 The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son.

What a beautiful image. But, in order for us to see this with our own eyes, we must believe IN God.  For Jesus who is crowned with Glory to be our King, we must believe IN God.  For Jesus to remove our scars and save us from our sin we must believe IN God.

Do you believe IN Jesus?

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