(Easter – 1999)
“Thou hast crowned Him with glory and honor”
What a magnificent text for Easter! The Father crowned the risen Son with glory and honor. In another Psalm we read: ”Thou settest a crown of pure gold on His head.” The risen
Savior is the Lord’s joy and crown. It is hard to imagine the unspeakable happiness in heaven at the sight of the empty tomb. No more fighting with the devil, no more temptation or pain and agony caused by the sin of others. Jesus Christ emerged the Victor. He came forth the King of kings and Lord of lords. While, after the resurrection, Jesus had the same body with the marks of the crucifixion in His hands and His side, they were marks of honor. As our glorified Lord, He could walk through walls and appear or disappear at the snap of a finger. As the Lord of glory He was and is forever in complete charge!
It is interesting to note that the word, “crown,” is used in only one sense in the four Gospels, not “the crown of glory” but “the crown of thorns.” Throughout the moments of our Savior’s crucifixion, one thought stands out clearly: his enemies were confident that they were in charge! The taunting, the jeering and the crown of thorns were their way of saying: “We have finally won; you are going to die.” What a powerful answer when the Lord of heaven and earth replaced the crown of thorns with a crown of honor and glory. The bitter truth of the resurrection for His enemies was that they had lost and would be lost for all time if they did not recognize the risen Lord as their Savior.
The glorious truth of the resurrection for you and me is that we have won. Jesus’ crown is also our crown. What is our crown like? The divine writers describe it variously as an “incorruptible crown,” “a crown of life,” “a crown of righteousness.” Through the forgiveness of our sins, our victorious King also made us kings and promises us a crown of glory for all eternity.
On the first Easter, Jesus’ battle was over but ours is not. The enemies of our soul are constantly striving to take away the crown that Jesus won for us. St. John encourages: “Let no one deprive you of your crown.” How wonderful it is to know that just because He is our risen Lord, no one can take away our crown. He is ever present with His word to strengthen us and lead us to everlasting life. What better way can we praise our Lord than to honor Him with the song of the hymn writer: “All glory, laud and honor, to Thee, Redeemer-King.”