In view of the Lenten season, I thought of sharing two posts on something seemingly mundane but an interesting trivia which I learned during my pilgrimage trips to the Holy Land.
Have you ever wondered what the crown of thorns of Jesus was made of? I have seen the the Relic of Christ’s Crown of Thorns kept inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and brought out for public veneration every Good Friday. However it is encased in a glass so I could not clearly see the detail.
|Crown of Thorns of Jesus kept in Notre Dame, Paris|
Last April, our guide Ruthie, showed us the tree believed to be where the twigs used in the Crown was taken from. It is called the Crown of Thorns Tree. It originated in Sudan and is also sometimes known as the Jujuba tree.
|Crown of Thorns Tree along the road in Galilee|
Our guide tried to cut some twigs for us and the twigs and branches were simply tough because the scissors she used broke. Can you imagine how painful it must be to have those entwined twigs pushed down one’s head? The thorns were about an inch long or more and the branches were twisted to form a crown. Each blow to the head of Jesus meant the thorns were pushed down deeper to His flesh.
|Our guide Ruthie cutting a branch of the Crown of Thorns Tree|
I was able o get some sample which I wrapped in several layers of tissue paper and placed inside a plastic bag. However despite the protective covering, I still got pricked when I took it out of my luggage. The thorns were long and hard. Below is a close up of the tree branch.
|close up of the Crown of Thorns Tree|
It may look like a harmless fern but looks maybe deceiving. Be careful in case you want to cut out some twigs for souvenir.
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!'” (Matthew 27:27-29)