Have you ever pricked your finger on the thorn of a rose? Perhaps you were admiring the rose’s beauty, perhaps you were enjoying its fragrance, perhaps someone special gave you roses and you were arranging them in a vase. For me, no matter what I am doing when it happens, it usually catches me by surprise, and it always hurts more than I think it should.
So why on this cold winter day am I talking about roses and thorns? No, my husband didn’t surprise me with any… although it’s something he does fairly often. The other day as I was doing my bible reading from my chronological plan to read through the bible in a year, (Click here for Bible Reading Plan) I read the part where Adam and Eve ate the apple and God was describing the consequences of the sin.
And to the man he said, ‘Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground…” (Genesis 3:17-19, emphasis mine)
As I was reading it I was reminded of something I once heard Beth Moore say. (If you don’t know who she is, she is my all time favorite Bible teacher. She has such a strong understanding of God’s work and she teaches it from a women’s heart) In one of her studies and to be honest I’ve done so many that I don’t remember which one it is, she was talking about Jesus’ crucifixion. I’m sure no matter how familiar you are with the bible, you have some type of picture in your head of the crucifixion. Jesus being whipped, Jesus being nailed to a cross. A crown of thorns being placed on Jesus’ head…
Did you catch where I’m going with this yet? Let me say it again and give you another chance… Jesus being whipped, Jesus being nailed to a cross. A crown of THORNS being placed on Jesus’ head.
In the study, Beth Moore pointed out a connection that I had never noticed. When talking about the crucifixion, she brought us back to Genesis after Adam and Eve ate that apple. One of the results of sin was having to labor for food because of the newly added thorns and thistles. The thorns were the result of sin. When Jesus hung on the cross, he wore a crown of thorns on his head. He symbolically was wearing sin on his head. How cool is that?
This connection is just a little detail of how perfectly the whole “story” fits together. I love details like that… so minor that most of us miss them. Yet I’m sure God was very purposeful when he composed it that way. It really isn’t something that theologically matters much, but I love that it’s there. Kind of like when you’re at a party that the host went above and beyond with all their little theme decorations and such… it would have been a good party without – but knowing that someone went to all that trouble makes it feel more special.
So as I was reading yesterday, and I came to that part about the thorns, once again, I was delighted, smiled at the knowledge of God’s completeness and thanked Jesus for dying on that cross for my sin. Because even though Eve and Adam were the first to sin, I’ve done more than my share! So thank you, Jesus.
P.S. Have you ever been delighted or surprised by something in God’s word? I’d love to hear about it.