I'm not going to write about why I made this picture. I did enough of that last year when I posted my Easter Bunneh picture. If this one bugs you, please go read that, and then decide if you hate me or not. If you do, that is cool too, but at least give me the chance to explain myself.
No, I'm going to write about the crown of thorns instead.
In the last half a year, or so, it has become an interesting symbol to me. I recently saw a bible with a crown of thorns design built into the cover. I almost bought it, but stopped. When I thought about it, it didn't make sense as a bible decoration.
The crown of thorns not only causes physical pain, but also mocks the wearer. A regular crown denotes a ruler, or sometimes a person who acted valiantly and became a savior to the common people. Taking that concept and twisting it into a torture device is evil literary-minded genius.
You can create crowns of other material to mock someone. But, chances are good it will only mock, and not hurt them physically. You could make one of molten gold I suppose, but that is a discussion for a another day. There is a song that brought this home to me in a real way.
The song is titled "Hurt" and was written by Trent Reznor and originally performed by Nine Inch Nails. Johnny Cash covered it. Truthfully, Johnny Cash did more than simply cover it. He took it and completely owned it, but that too, is a discussion for another day. He changed the pace of the song, removed the anger, replaced it with sadness, and changed a single word.
In the original the second verse opens
I wear this crown of sh*t
upon my liar's chair
It gets your attention doesn't it? You think about it. The narrator is calling himself a fake king [ or maybe simply "fake" ]. But it's easy to take away that illusion. It's easy to change. Its easily removed, easily cleaned up, and once removed no one will ever know you were wearing it. As torture tool it fails, and as way to shame someone it only lasts as long as they are wearing it.
In Johnny Cash's version the second verse opens
I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar's chair
The first time I heard this it grabbed my attention and held it a lot harder than the original. Profanity gets attention, but beyond that it doesn't add much to your message. If you are using it, you better follow it up with something profound, otherwise you will get tuned out. But crown of thorns. This has the same attention grabbing impact because of its strong association with The Crucifixion. But it says more about the predicament of the narrator, he is a fake king too, but he is stuck with it. You can't easily remove a crown of thorns. It hurts going on, and probably hurts more coming off. Even when its removed you will carry scars. Hiding from that shame and mockery becomes almost impossible-- all you need is a mirror to remind you.
The soldiers fashioned one for Jesus prior to his death. It's the intention to mock I think of when I see it depicted. I understand there was physical pain, but it is the people making fun of a man getting ready to die that burns. I'm not completely sure why it was needed in the grand scheme of things. It was foreshadowed in the story of Abraham, Isaac, and the Ram that got stuck in the thorn bush-- but beyond that I haven't thought about the "why" too much.
If you have made this far, thanks. Go check out the songs. Both versions are floating around on Youtube and Spotify.