Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Easter Hymns Reflection – O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

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Week Two – Day 4 – Thursday, March 17, 2016

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded  –

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded  – (acapella)

  1. O sacred Head, now wounded,
    with grief and shame weighed down,
    now scornfully surrounded
    with thorns, thine only crown:
    how pale thou art with anguish,
    with sore abuse and scorn!
    How does that visage languish
    which once was bright as morn!

    2. What thou, my Lord, has suffered
    was all for sinners’ gain;
    mine, mine was the transgression,
    but thine the deadly pain.
    Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
    ‘Tis I deserve thy place;
    look on me with thy favor,
    vouchsafe to me thy grace.

    3. What language shall I borrow
    to thank thee, dearest friend,
    for this thy dying sorrow,
    thy pity without end?
    O make me thine forever;
    and should I fainting be,
    Lord, let me never, never
    outlive my love for thee.


Mark 15:17 (ESV) – 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.

Matthew 27:29 (ESV) – 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

Hundreds of years before Christ was sentenced to die on Calvary, Isaiah prophesied of the Passion, saying: Just as many were astonished at you, My people so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men. (Isaiah 52:14)

O – Oh, how Christ must have suffered!  This is only the physical pain – the beating, the scourging, the spitting, the spilled blood.  But – the emotional anguish….  Mocking, the “ceremony” of crowning Him King of the Jews.

A – As I think about the pain from my fall yesterday, I am reminded that this is NOTHING compared to Christ’s suffering.  Trying to turn in bed last night was so difficult.  But it is NOTHING compared to carrying His cross.  Typing one handed is frustrating, but NOTHING compared to being whipped and scourged and having His hands nailed to the cross.  Bending over is difficult, but NOTHING compared to bending to pick up His cross.  What a reminder of the suffering of Christ.

P – O Father God, while I recover from injuries from yesterday, keep reminding me of Christ’s agony, His suffering, His own injuries while carrying my sin to the cross.  Father God, You know all things, and knew that I needed this reminder at this time in my life.   Keep my heart tender, and my spirit attuned to You today.

From: Making the Passion Personal: p. 63,64

Inside the courtyard, hundreds of soldiers form rows in military precision to prepare for the imminent death march. What a pitiful sight is the accused — one more man with a messiah complex. How could he have ever made any claim to royalty? What would make him dream such dreams?

A few joke at the absurdity of the whole thing. One soldier grabs a thin branch covered with long hard thorns from a pile of firewood nearby, and begins to weave it into a wreath to crown the would-be king.

Seeing them, a captain from the Italian regiment takes off his military robe. With dramatic flare, he drapes it across Jesus’ shoulders, bowing deeply as he backs away.

One by one others pick up the revelry, laughing and taunting the Christ. Finishedwith his crown, the soldier stands back and admires his artwork, placing it on Jesus’ head to mimick an official coronation.

“Hail, King of the Jews!” he cries out jovially. Others crowd around, fawning over Jesus as they drop to their knees and salute with words of cheer.

“Godspeed oh mighty one!”
“Rejoice oh great ruler!!”
Hail, King of the Jews!

A centurion calls out: “His scepter — he is a king, he must have a scepter!” Someone grabs one of the branches from the pile and places it in Jesus’ right hand.

He is so very alone now. What must he feel in this crowd? At least his own people, though they knew him not, expectantly awaited the Messiah foretold in sacred Scripture. Whether they loved or hated him, Jesus’ claims were always taken seriously.

But these Gentiles — have they ever wanted a savior? Or does the power they hold rob them of any sense of their need? When Jesus looks at them, does he see the frailty behind their pride? In the mocking faces, does he see some who will one day follow him? Does he gaze into the eyes of a Cornelius and secretly rejoice at what he will be, once the price has been paid for his sins?

The blood drips down into his eyes and across his face, the makeshift crown slipping from his matted hair. Someone grabs a branch and hits at it, embedding the barbs in his skull. Lust for blood spurs other soldiers to join in pounding Jesus’ head with reeds.

Soon their abuse grows to a feverish pitch. One squares off, slaps Jesus and spits in his face. A few others follow suit. The fun and games have become a sadistic sport, with Jesus the impotent victim.

Hail, King of the Jews! Crowned with thorns, the King of kings finally faces death’s mournful march. Eternal darkness looms over the One to whom every eye will one day look, though for now his battered face is repulsive to see. Weak and powerless, the Son of God advances toward a host of hell’s demons to wage the final war for the souls of men.

The walk to Golgotha is almost here. Consider the emotions Jesus must face at this moment. Think of His physical state. Contemplate the mockery that He faced from the Romans. See this scene before you, and then read the following description of the exalted Messiah, Jesus Christ:
I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp twoedged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. …
Revelation 1:13-17

Consider the contrast. Reflect on what Jesus endured in light of the reality of His Deity. Write a prayer of adoration based on these thoughts, using 2 Corinthians 8:9 as a basis: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
Spend some time in quiet contemplation of these things.

A Prayer
Oh my Lord of lords — You, whose head should bear only crowns of gold, are wreathed with nasty thorns. You, who should be hailed as matchless King, are ridiculed with words of salutation. You, whose heavenly anthem should drown all other sounds, are deluged with derisive taunts. Every melody of love loses its luster in light of this haunting song you sing. How can we ever join the chorus, except
with tears?


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