3 Thorns in the Picture of Redemption

1. A thorn-cursed creation. When Adam and Eve sinned, God said, “Cursed is the ground for your sakes…thorns…it shall bring forth for you…In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground (Genesis 3:17-19).” Everything changed in that moment to frustration, brokenness…thorns.

2. A thorn-crowned savior. “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on his head (Matthew 27:29).” The curse that fell in a garden was lifted in a garden! At the cross, Christ became our Savior and Substitute, securing our salvation. Adam lost fellowship with God, immortality, sinless perfection. At the cross, Christ reclaimed and restored all those to us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Notice the words “in Christ.” Thirty-one times in the New Testament we read these words of affirmation that God loves and accepts us “in Christ.”

Heaven’s answer to a thorn-cursed creation/fall was a thorn-crowned savior. But notice something important. God didn’t remove the thorns. He uses them for redemptive purposes.

That’s why we get 3. A custom-designed thorn. Paul describes his thorn in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

If Paul’s experience is anything to go by, the Christian life is a series of blessings and buffetings. And the God who promises the first, permits the second. Why? To make sure we live our lives dependent on Him. Look what God used to make sure Paul relied totally on Him!


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