There are a couple of thorny locust trees in our yard. My feelings of them are love/hate. When my family first moved here from Florida in the 70's a farmer told my father (also a farmer) that the thorns of this tree would go through a tractor tire (he may have been stretching the truth). Watch out, in other words. Even as a young girl that obviously impressed me because I'm relaying this conversation to you now.
I had an encounter with one of our thorny trees last week as I wanted to mow a section of our yard for the first time since winter. There were lots of limbs to clear away, some from the dreaded tree. As I cleaned around it I got stuck several times and decided my shoes and mower tires were no match for the long, thick and sharp thorns - most of them the size of a ten penny nail.
Why am I going on about this tree? Because God knows I need reminders of His love for me. I wonder what kind of thorns were put on Jesus head as the soldiers mocked Him as King of Israel. In the previous hours to this thorny crown, He'd been betrayed by a friend for the price of a slave, on trial in front of a Roman governor, then Herod, then back to Pilate who offered the Jewish crowd the release of Jesus or Barabbas (a murderer) - they chose Barabbas. He was then taken away and scourged, beaten and spit on in preparation to carry His cross. What had he done to deserve this? There were many healings, raising of the dead, exorcising demons, teaching God's word....there was no crime.
The cross is a horrible instrument of death. He died that day and then three days later He rose from the dead and is in heaven. What He suffered that day was for you and me. He paid the price of our sin, so that if we accept His gift (that's right gift) of salvation we can be forgiven of our sin and go to heaven where He is.
I'm reminded of this the greatest love story ever told every time I go by that mean old tree in our yard. Blessed Easter from the holler...