Lent Symbols Week Four
During the 40 days of Lent, Christians around the globe remember the sacrifices of Jesus Christ – in setting aside His eternal nature to become human; and in His willing submission of His will in deference to His Father’s will, becoming “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8, ESV). It is a time of repentance, reflection, and personal sacrifice, many believers committing to give up some activity or indulgence during Lent to more fully identify with Jesus’ sacrifices. Pennway’s Worship Design Team has been working hard to design signs and symbols of the Lenten Season. Each week, I will highlight some of these visual reminders in this blog. In this world with its endless distractions and shiny objects that pull for our affections, it is my prayer that these symbols of Lent will pull you back to worship our savior Jesus Christ.
During Lent, the centerpiece display in the church sanctuary is the word “HOPE,” with a crown of thorns serving as the letter “o”. The crown of thorns reminds us of Jesus’ physical suffering that paid for our sins, giving eternal life to all who would receive Him. (John 1:12) The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John detail the torment and humiliation Jesus suffered at the hands of the Roman soldiers. Jesus was brutally whipped, mocked, and humiliated. The soldiers scorned His deity by covering His broken body with a purple robe, placing a wooden staff in His hand, and forcibly driving a crown of thorns into His scalp.
As difficult as it is to fathom, Jesus’ suffering went beyond physical pain and torture. In the hours during His crucifixion, Christ also suffered the rejection of His Father in heaven. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, took on the full burden of sin – every sin that had ever been and would ever be committed, from the very beginning to the very end. God Almighty, Who is holy and perfect, and cannot look upon sin, forsook His Son (Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34). The crown of thorns serves as a reminder that our journey can be lonely and full of misery. It represents the cost of our salvation.