“She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to listen to hear what Paul said.” ~ Acts 16:14
I reflect on our Lord’s final hours. Jesus wore a crown of thorns twisted together by the soldiers who arrested Him, as well as a purple robe. “King of the Jews” Pilate labeled Him, though the Jews did not claim such. Is He my King of all of me? Is He your King? Why thorns for a crown? Probably to mock Him and bring Him more physical pain.
What kind of thorns brought such anguish to Him? Scholars say possibly those thorns were of Jujube, Sarcopoterium, Hawthorns, or Euphorbia milii? Jujube origins are of the Orient, with one legendary tree known as the “Tree of Knowledge”. Thorny, but most likely not crafted into a crown for our Jesus at Golgatha near Jerusalem. Sarcopoterium naturally grows in the Mediterranean, is in the rose family, and thorny. Hawthorns or “thornapple” another member of the rose family, used as a barrier for all animals but grows too far north to be of Jesus’ crown. Euphorbia milii is native to Madagascar; more of southern origins. A sturdy perennial with stout gray thorns and oval leaves. It sprawls with vinelike stems and can grow seven feet in length. Milky poison oozes from inside the vine irritating the skin and eyes. The thorns became another weapon used on our Jesus.
And why a purple robe? Purple symbolizes wealth, prestige, royalty, and luxury. Again, Jesus became what others needed of Him. That day He became the “King of the Jews”. He was later stripped of that purple cloth. Lydia, a wealthy Gentile woman from Philippi made purple dyes and textiles. She was the first European convert to Christianity. Like Jesus, Lydia became what others needed of her. She invited Paul and Jesus’ disciples to stay at her home while they ministered to the Philippians. “Lydia challenges us to reflect on our role of being prepared for the moment, seeking something bigger than ourselves, and being willing to invite others to experience what we have experienced,” writes Aimee Laramore. The life of Jesus continues in Lydia, you, and I.
“Generosity is not best experienced in one act or one exchange, but in life-long learning, leading, and loving one another.” ~ Aimee Laramore