There’s something special about wearing a crown. My young daughters have already learned this truth and put it into practice. (They love playing dress-up!) Crowns signify royalty, importance, and authority. In some cases, they also portray a sense of restoration. Cinderella spent most of her life as a lowly servant, but she finally discovered her true identity and was given a crown.
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The Bible speaks often of crowns. But the truth about crowns is that they are either earned or given. No one puts a crown on themselves. It is bestowed upon them for a reason. Either they were born into their identity as royalty, they married into it, or someone decided to grant them royal status.
As children of God, we are royalty in every way possible. We are born into a royal family by the Spirit of God. The Bible describes us as the bride of Christ, making us royalty by marriage. And because of the cross, we are granted righteousness and have been given our royal status by the King of kings.
The Bible describes four types of crowns that we receive as royal children of our King:
Beauty – Isaiah 61:3 tells us that we are given a crown of beauty in exchange for ashes. In the days of the Old Testament, it was common for someone in mourning to wear sackcloth and cover themselves in ashes. It was part of the grieving process and it was also used in times of great sorrow and repentance. The death and resurrection of Jesus made it possible for us to exchange our sorrow for joy.
Life – One of the most crucial elements of the cross is our newfound access to eternal life. The consequence of our sin was death, but God graciously made a way for us to have life in Him. The Bible tells us that when we endure to the end, we will be rewarded with the crown of life. (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10)
Righteousness – Many try to earn righteousness by being “good people” and doing “good things.” But the truth is that it can’t be earned. Righteousness was given to Abraham because of his faith, and it is bestowed on us in the same way. Our faith in Jesus makes it possible for God to reward us a crown of righteousness. (2 Timothy 4:8)
Glory – The Bible tells us that as children of God, we are co-heirs with Christ. We share in His suffering, and we will also share in His glory. 1 Peter 5:4 tells us that when we humbly serve and lead others, we will receive a crown of “never-ending glory and honor.”
There is another type of crown mentioned in Scripture. It’s one that Jesus alone wore – a crown of thorns. On His way to the cross, He was mocked and ridiculed for being “King of the Jews.” They placed the crown on His head to make a mockery of this claim. What they didn’t realize is that they crowned the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Jesus endured a crown of thorns so that we could exchange our ashes for a crown of beauty, life, righteousness, and never-ending glory.
Some of us struggle with the idea of surrendering our entire lives to Christ. But the truth is that we are exchanging our brokenness for His healing. God longs for us to give it all to Him so that He can transform it into something beautiful.
Our Messiah bore the crown of thorns and the cross so that we could exchange our mess, our sin, and our pain… for His glorious crown of life.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.