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Crown of Thorns

A visual symbol that can be placed on the cover of service bulletins, within the written liturgy, or on a large screen display.

Black and white .jpeg image for download. Image without cross for download.

Description of Crown of Thorns

To the Lenten cross of wood the symbol of thorns and thistles is added. In sharp contrast to a splendid, kingly crown, Jesus Christ bore a crown of thorns. As a reminder of the toil mentioned in the Genesis account of the fall, thorns represent the complete suffering, pain, and lowliness Jesus submitted to in placing our sins and God's judgement on himself.

Scripture References

  • Genesis 3:17b-18
  • Psalm 22:1-2
  • Matthew 27:28
  • 1 Peter 2:24

Occasions for Use

  • Good Friday
  • Lent

The image is an original linoleum block print resulting from a printmaking process in which an image is drawn on a block of wood covered with a thin layer of linoleum, and then hand-carved to expose areas that will be white. Ink is rolled onto the block, covering the surface not cut away. Paper made from the mulberry tree is laid on top and hand rubbed with a Japanese barren or wooden spoon. In transferring the ink to the paper the resulting image is a reflection of the design placed on the block. It first appeared in the book Visuals for Worship (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2006) which is no longer in print.

When using the image please include the following acknowledgment: “Linoleum block print by Elizabeth Steele Halstead."