I found the above old dry branch 5 years ago in the Cedarberg mountains. It’s beauty struck me and I picked it up and took it back to the cottage. I have kept it with me on my mantlepiece, always planning to photograph its stark and weathered lines. This week I finally did and no matter how I tried I just couldn’t shoot my usual close up macro shot. It didn’t work. The branch needed to be shown in its entirety. While I was photographing it the words “crown of thorns” came into my head.
Now when I look at it I am reminded of Christ’s sacrifice for us. The Message version of Isaiah 53 says: ”But it was our sins that did it to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him – our sins! He took the punishment that made us whole, through his bruises we get healed.” I don’t often reflect on the unbelievable pain that he endured for us. The humiliation and shame that he faced. The Passion of the Christ burnt into my mind a picture of the crown of thrown being pushed down onto Jesus’ head, but only when I think about it.
What amazing loving and sacrifice that he should endure that all for me. Not only for my salvation, but also that I might be made whole.
Feel the reins in my hand.
Should I risk the path of service,
Release my needs to the will of an other?
Reach into festering humanity.
Give up my wine for daily bread?
He freely walked into hard-baked agony.
Knelt in the sewers of society.
Carried other’s burdens in torn flesh.
Bled into the cup of victory.
Will I trust His perfect sacrifice
and let Him change my life?