Jesus wore a crown of thorns (Matt. 27:29; Mark 15:17 John 19:2,5), that His followers might have a crown of righteousness and life (2 Tim. 4:8; Jas. 1:12; Rev. 2:10). That crown is a crown of rejoicing and of glory which does not fade away (1 Tim. 2:19; 1 Peter 5:4).
In our world today when the now rare sentence of execution is actually carried out, people across our nation cry for a means that is absent of pain and agony. When Jesus was sentenced to die, He was executed by a process which was painful and shameful (Heb. 12:2). “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” (Gal. 3:13).
Before Jesus went to the cross he was mocked. Matthew 27: 28-31 describes the mocking Jesus endured at the time of His conviction:
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon 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! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
In this mocking Jesus was smitten on the head, doubtless driving the thorns of the crown into His head bringing pain to Him and blood from Him. As the Lord hung on the cross the mocking continued. Matthew 27:42 records: “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” Before Jesus went to the cross, they removed the scarlet or purple robe they had put on Him and put His own raiment back on Him. There is, however, no indication that the painful and humiliating crown of thorns was removed.
Jesus wore a humiliating crown in order that there might be laid up for faithful Christians a crown of righteousness which they will receive on the day of Judgment (2 Tim. 4:8). How can one who has ever been brought to a humble appreciation for the crown of thorns the Lord wore on his behalf ever turn away from the Lord and His righteousness thereby losing the claim for the glorious crown laid up for the saved? We would suggest that many of those who turn away from the Lord and lose their crown would not if they continued to desire the sincere milk of the word (1 Peter 2:2). In the same chapter, verses 21-24, by implication, it is astounding one would turn from the Lord who wore the crown of thorns.
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Jesus gave up the ghost with a crown of thorns on His head so that when we give up the ghost we may have prepared ourselves through His mercy to receive the crown of life.