The Crucifixion Of Jesus
The Crown Of Thorns, And The Mocking Of Jesus
In Matthew 27:27-30 we read,
“Then the soldiers of the procurator took Jesus into the praetorium, and gathered together about him the whole cohort. And they stripped him and put on him a scarlet cloak; and plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed into his right hand; and bending the knee they mocked him, saying “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spat on him, and took the reed and kept striking him on the head.”
The crown of thorns was not a crown at all. It was probably a bush roughly applied, and tied on with rope. The beating with the rods to the head covered with this crown would have caused severe bleeding to this very vascular area.
The thorns probably came from the Lote Tree, the Zizyphus Spina Christi. This wild bush still grows freely all over the Holy Land, and was probably used by the Roman soldiers as firewood.
This bush had thorns between one to two inches long. There are over 70 scalp wounds visible on the Shroud. It is probable that the clump of thorns was removed before Jesus’ seamless tunic was put back onto His body, and then reapplied during the Crucifixion. The blood trickling down from the newly opened head wounds suggest that the thorns were reapplied before the Crucifixion.
Following the scourging and mocking, Jesus had sustained the following injuries, clearly visible on the Shroud:
- His beard had been ripped off (See Isaiah 50:6), with severe bleeding from His face.
- He had severe bleeding from His scalp from the crown of thorns.
- He had lacerations over His right orbit, from punching and beating with rods.
- He had fractured nasal cartilages, from beating with rods.
- He had sustained bruising of both cheeks from punches.
This was all in complete fulfilment of the following prophecy in Isaiah 52:14, “Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.”
Jesus was virtually unrecognisable on the Cross.