Transcendent: Thorns

Mark 15:1-16:7

Thorns are referenced many times in the bible:

  • In Genesis 3:18, after Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord told them, “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you.”
  • In Numbers 33:55 the Israelites are told that if they don’t drive the inhabitants out of the land, then those people “will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides”.
  • In Hosea 9:6 Israelites who have turned from God are warned that “thorns will be in their tents”.
  • Proverbs 22:5 gives us the wisdom, “Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards himself will be far from them”.
  • Micah 7:4 refers to the unfaithful, “The best of them is like a briar, The most upright like a thorn hedge”.
  • The parable of the sower makes the parallel, “The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful”. Matthew 13:22

Thorns are mentioned many more times throughout the bible. They were created as part of man’s punishment for the original sin, and continued to be referenced as a symbol of sin, curses, and the unworthy.

When we get to the gospels, we read about the most disturbing image of thorns:

They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. -Mark 15:17

He had already been beaten and flogged. He was about to be nailed to a cross and die a painful death. Then the soldiers placed the crown of thorns on Jesus’s head not only to cause him further pain, but also to mock him as the King of the Jews. They did not realize the symbolism of this act. Jesus took the curse that was placed upon this earth because of sin, and removed that curse as he wore it to his death.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. -Romans 3:23

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. -2 Corinthians 5:17


  1. Thorns still exist in our world, both literally and figuratively. How is that curse removed for believers?
  2. Thorns were placed on Jesus to hurt him, but we can give our thorns to Him with trust and faith. What thorns do you need to give to Jesus?