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The Crown of Thorns


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This was a brief speculation made on another forum, but got me thinking about why it must be so.  In all pictures of Christ when dying, he is depicted in the Watchtower magazines without the crown of thorns. I believe I have not run across this in any other such drawn description of the time of Jesus' dying and death.  There appears to be no scriptural reason behind its removal.  What is the reason?

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This was a brief speculation made on another forum, but got me thinking about why it must be so.  In all pictures of Christ when dying, he is depicted in the Watchtower magazines without the crown of

It could have been removed when the purple cloak was removed since both had to do with his being a king and they were ridiculing him, but there is a reference by the WTS that he was still wearing the

Sorry to disappoint. lol. I have no "perceptive" comments to make on this. I'll take a guess, below, but first, a small clarification: This isn't true. Unless you are speaking only of current m

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Didn't see any research on it. Maybe it was thought that when they took off the purple cloak (representative of kingly wear) they also took off the crown of thorns. See Matthew 27. (Accounts by Mark and John said it was a purple cloak.)

(Matthew 27:28-31) . . .8 And disrobing him, they draped him with a scarlet cloak, 29 and they braided a crown out of thorns and put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying: “Greetings, you King of the Jews!” 30 And they spat on him and took the reed and began hitting him on his head. 31 Finally, after they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak and put his outer garments on him and led him off to be nailed to the stake.

No need to quarrel about this.  Everyone has perceptive powers including the artists. (See what JWInsider thinks.)

 

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On 8/25/2016 at 2:01 PM, Witness said:

This was a brief speculation made on another forum, but got me thinking about why it must be so.  In all pictures of Christ when dying, he is depicted in the Watchtower magazines without the crown of thorns. I believe I have not run across this in any other such drawn description of the time of Jesus' dying and death.  There appears to be no scriptural reason behind its removal.  What is the reason?

It could have been removed when the purple cloak was removed since both had to do with his being a king and they were ridiculing him, but there is a reference by the WTS that he was still wearing the crown of thorns when he was put to death:

[w56 4/15 p.251] . He was stripped of his clothes, nailed to the stake, wearing on his head a crown of thorns. 

 

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On 8/28/2016 at 9:02 PM, Witness said:

JWInsider, do you have a comment?  I have read some of your reasoning and find it "perceptive".

Sorry to disappoint. lol. I have no "perceptive" comments to make on this. I'll take a guess, below, but first, a small clarification:

On 8/25/2016 at 5:01 PM, Witness said:

In all pictures of Christ when dying, he is depicted in the Watchtower magazines without the crown of thorns.

This isn't true. Unless you are speaking only of current magazines, after the 1990's. While I was at Bethel we still had file cabinets with a lot of the old artwork and there were several pictures of Jesus with the crown of thorns, not just in front of Pilate, but also while on the "torture stake" or on his way to the place of execution, while dragging the stake. I don't know if they all had been used in print, but I remember seeing a few of them in print, and I remember seeing at least one or two more in the 1990's.

But here is my guess. The Art Dept at Bethel gets the articles from Writing with requests for appropriate artwork. The artists makes two or three sketches which go back to the Writing Dept. A choice from the sketches is made and when the art is finished it gets incorporated into the page layout of the article. Almost no Biblical or historical research went into most of the old artwork from the 1950's to the 1970's, but since the 1980's the organization has become more and more sophisticated with research. 

As you might imagine, when I was there, the Art Dept rarely got questioned about anything, and rarely had to redo artwork with one exception: pictures of Jesus. Pictures of Jesus got scrutinized outside the Art Dept, and sometimes the discussion went beyond the writer and editor. (By "editor" I mean someone like Rusk, Swingle, Barry, or Adams in the 70's and 80's.) A couple members of the GB worked in the Writing Dept and they might be questioned if pictures of Jesus were taking on a different quality from previous pictures.

There were a few things you could never do with Jesus. You couldn't give him even a hint of a hooked nose, and he always had straight hair, never curly (dark brown or black). You should make him "handsome" and with slightly above average muscles. We don't do this any more, but we used to avoid any pictures of blood and wounds after he was whipped or while on the stake. (See the picture in the Knowledge book for an example.) By 1978, we settled on a Bethelite as a "model" for Jesus' face and used that same general likeness for every picture for several years.

Just a few years before, artists weren't allowed (for about 30 years) to give Jesus a beard . And that fact alone probably explains the problem with the crown of thorns, too. It makes Jesus look too much like the pictures that "Christendom" produces. This should be pretty clear when you just take a look at the comments made over the years about the crown of thorns:

These articles came out when we still depicted the crown of thorns on the stake:

 

*** w56 4/15 p. 251 par. 14 Gaining the Prize of Life by Active Training Now ***

He was stripped of his clothes, nailed to the stake, wearing on his head a crown of thorns.

*** w81 5/15 pp. 20-21 pars. 15-16 The Kingdom—Is It Real to You? ***

There is no indication that Jesus tried to remove that crown of thorns. It remained on his head, and that served to highlight the issue at stake. No one was to be left in doubt.

*** w91 1/1 p. 9 “Look! The Man!” ***

After this torturous beating, Jesus is taken into the governor’s palace, and the whole body of troops is called together. There the soldiers heap further abuse on him by braiding a crown of thorns and pushing it down on his head. They put a reed in his right hand, and they clothe him with a purple garment, the type worn by royalty. Then they say to him mockingly: “Good day, you King of the Jews!” Also, they spit on him and slap him in the face. Taking the sturdy reed from his hand, they use it to hit him on the head, driving even further into his scalp the sharp thorns of his humiliating “crown.”  [In 1991 we still drew the crown of thorns worn on the execution stake, the "driving further" might have helped someone rationalize that it stayed there throughout the entire ordeal. Also, it's sometimes drawn as a kind of brambly thistle which would be difficult to remove from the hair.]

 

The following types of statements underscore the sensitivity to depictions of Jesus that make him appear too much like those of Christendom:

 

*** sl chap. 3 pp. 42-43 par. 29 A Transformed Messiah with Whom Politicians Must Cope ***

By their crucifixes and their church Masses the clergy of Christendom have caused the political element of the world to view Jesus Christ as a bedraggled figure. They claim that at his ascending to heaven he even took along with him the human body in which he was nailed to the stake, still bearing the scratches of the crown of thorns in his forehead and the gory nail holes in his hands and feet and the spear gash in his side.

 

*** sl chap. 3 p. 30 par. 2 A Transformed Messiah with Whom Politicians Must Cope ***

2 Political rulers, especially those of Christendom, are more or less familiar with the Gospel accounts of the earthly life of Jesus Christ. Likely the most familiar mental picture that they have of him is that presented by many religious artists, that of a Jesus with drawn facial features beneath a crown of thorns, nailed hand and foot to a cross. Little, or, rather, not at all, do the political rulers of today count on having a confrontation with Jesus Christ as a mighty heavenly King all equipped to fight with his earthly enemies. To their utter amazement, it will be a transformed Messiah whom they will have to confront shortly.

 

*** ip-2 chap. 14 p. 198 par. 11 Jehovah Exalts His Messianic Servant *** [This quote is from 2000, which was the same year when a picture was made that explicitly removes the crown of thorns while Jesus made his way to Golgotha, the place of execution.]

11 Today the misrepresentation of Jesus continues. Most people picture Jesus as a babe in a manger or as a tragic figure nailed to a cross, with his face distorted in agony under a crown of thorns. Christendom’s clergy have encouraged such views.

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Can't see a crown of thorns on the stake picture in WT 1 Feb 1991 p 9

It was never consistent, and there were more examples without it. There are several pictures from the 80's that do not show it. There are several pictures that also tend to use solid black hair, sometimes even with a "spiky" hair  style (when on the stake) that tends to make the picture ambiguous. Also in the January 15, 1992 p.11, (the only such WT picture that year) there is no crown of thorns unless it's hidden in dark hair. (The picture is small.) But in the June 1, 1993 issue, page 10, issue the next year, it's back again while Jesus is dragging the stake. Also, the crown of thorns made the cover very prominently on the July 1, 1993 issue (and p.17), but this is in front of Pilate.

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Thank you everyone – Holly, JWInsider, Melinda, and Eoin for your comments and for setting me aright as to the history of how Jesus is portrayed in the publications over the years.

There is no indication that Jesus tried to remove that crown of thorns. It remained on his head, and that served to highlight the issue at stake. No one was to be left in doubt.  w91 1/1 p. 9 “Look! The Man!

Today the misrepresentation of Jesus continues. Most people picture Jesus as a babe in a manger or as a tragic figure nailed to a cross, with his face distorted in agony under a crown of thorns. Christendom’s clergy have encouraged such views. ip-2 chap. 14 p. 198 par. 11

What contrasting comments, leaving a reader who does any research, somewhat confused, I would think.  So I ask, has the Watchtower now forgotten just how Christ was persecuted on our behalf?  Would it not be the priority to make known ALL that he suffered in bringing us the gift of life?   The chief priests balked at Pilate’s choice of words to be written and placed above the dying Jesus:

 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,  where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was:

JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.  Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”   Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”  John 19:17-22 NKJV

What else should be removed?  We know the symbolic meaning of this crown is a major sign of persecution put upon Christ, mentally, emotionally and spiritually - an oppression forced down onto him; and through such, we see his resulting reliance on the Father.  We can also see this through Paul’s words who suffered from a “thorn in the flesh”.  Interestingly, it is Christ who is speaking to him,

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:7-10

When looking at Christ’s example under such painful humiliation, we have a lesson to heed,

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  James 1:2-4

It is the thorn in the flesh that can makes us weak, if we allow it.  When learning to walk by spirit, and not by the sight of which we can behold with our eye (as one’s supposed salvation), we become unmovable when attacked by the prideful ridicule of others. The blessing of grace is sufficient for us.  Gal 5:16; Rom 8:14; Matt 26:41

 “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”  Eph 6:16

“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”  1 Thess 5:8

The persecution that Christ painfully bore in his weakness displayed the power of God upon his Son, and the crowning of his resulting glory. 

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”  Heb 2:9

Each one us, in particular God’s anointed ones, must bear their own thorn in the flesh to magnify the power of Christ during the persecution the remnant experiences.  Rev 9 speaks of a swarm of stinging locust that comes upon God’s anointed ones prior to their being “sealed”.  Rev 9:1-11; 7:4

Although the Watchtower will say this locust swarm correlates with those in the “preaching work”, indeed it is a result of captivity to lies and the testing of one’s exclusive faith in God and Christ.  The “star” that releases these scorpion locusts is not Christ, since Christ would never “fall” from his heavenly position; but those anointed in Christ, very well could. 2 Pet 1:10

 “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”  Rev 2:10 (Luke 21:24; Col 2:8; Eph 6:12; Rev 13:10)

"Tails" "Stingers" "Scorpions"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Witness said:

So I ask, has the Watchtower now forgotten just how Christ was persecuted on our behalf?  Would it not be the priority to make known ALL that he suffered in bringing us the gift of life?  

No. The Watchtower has not forgotten how Christ was persecuted on our behalf, nor have they forgotten that he set the perfect example under the harshest of trials. We are reminded that this was for the benefit of our own example to imitate. We are also reminded that Jesus was under the added difficulty of knowing that every move would be scrutinized even more closely because he was also claiming to represent his Father perfectly through all of these trials.

23 hours ago, Witness said:

What else should be removed?

I don't believe it's fair to imply that the Watchtower removed this in some of the images of Jesus as a way to minimize just how much he suffered. Our memorial invitations have shown Jesus wearing the crown of thorns. The jw.org website shows it several times (I'll attach a couple of them below). But more importantly, these Bible accounts are discussed exactly as they appear in the Bible -- nothing is removed.

Art work often includes some conjecture. Some would conjecture that the crown of thorns was removed from Jesus at the time the cloak was removed, or at the time that his outer garments were replaced, or that it must have fallen off during the harrowing experience of carrying his own "stauros" (and perhaps even falling under its weight when the task was given to Simon the Cyrene). They might conjecture this based on the fact that the crown is not mentioned at the time that the soldiers cast lots over his garments, nor in connection with the sign that says "King of the Jews." There is nothing wrong with such a conjecture, because one should be careful about adding anything that might not be there.

Others would assume he still was wearing it at the time of execution, and yet there is no scripture that states this. On the other hand, there is no scripture that says it fell off, or that it was explicitly removed either. So one would also be justified to include it in the pictures after he left Pilate.

If one were to read the 4 different gospel accounts carefully, there are some differences among all the accounts that can make it difficult to make sure one is drawing the scene correctly. If you the four gospel accounts included below, you might wonder at some differences in detail. For example, at what point was Jesus carrying the stake, and at what point did Simon the Cyrene enter the picture? Did Simon carry it alone, behind Jesus, or did he carry it with Jesus? John does not mention Simon and says only that Jesus carried it himself. Another point of difficulty is whether Jesus was was completely naked on the stake since Matthew and Luke say that the soldiers took "his garments" and John explicitly says they even took his inner garment. Matthew only mentions that they distributed his "outer garments." (This nakedness could be considered part of his suffering, but for various and perhaps obvious reasons, the Watchtower does not depict him this way on the stake.)  There is even a question about when Jesus would have actually been wearing the crown of thorns during the questioning by Pilate. (It is nearly certain that he was NOT wearing it when questioned about whether he was indeed "a king.")

Many of us probably hadn't even noticed that Jesus appeared TWICE before Pilate, and on only one of these occasions, the second one, was he in front of Pilate when the purple robe and crown of thorns were put on him. The purple robe might actually have come along from Herod's soldiers, who dressed him in a splendid garment, and perhaps he was RE-dressed in that same robe in front of Pilate. In one of these accounts, it was only after Jesus left Pilate's immediate audience that the soldiers did this to him.  In another account, Pilate presents him while Jesus is wearing the crown and robe. 

Therefore, The Watchtower has made various pictures of Jesus standing in front of Pilate both with and without his hands bound, both with and without wearing his own garments, and both with and without any indication of having been whipped, and both with and without wearing a crown of thorns.

In other Watchtower pictures, he carries the stake both with and without outer garments, and both with and without the crown of thorns. In other pictures, especially recently, he has a large purple bruise on his face from being struck prior to being handed over to Pilate. 

Perhaps the details mentioned in the article in the Watchtower of December 15, 1990 caused some discussion about the time and exact place when the crown of thorns was worn.

*** w90 12/15 p. 9 From Pilate to Herod and Back Again ***
Disappointed, Herod and his soldier guards make fun of Jesus. They clothe him with a bright garment and mock him.

Notice that Matthew, Mark and John never mention Herod. So they do NOT say that a garment was put on him by Herod's soldiers but mentions that Pilate's soldiers did this at the governor's residence. Luke, the one who says it was Herod's soldiers who put this garment on him, never mentions the crown of thorns or his wearing of purple in front of Pilate or Pilate's soldiers.

All these differences in details can still dovetail into a plausible explanation based on the perspective of each gospel writer, but this does not mean that differences in various pictures definitely makes one right and one wrong.

  • (Matthew 27:1-37)  . . . 2 After binding him, they led him off and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. . . . 11 Jesus now stood before the governor, and the governor put the question to him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied: “You yourself say it.” . . . 26 Then he released Bar·abʹbas to them, but he had Jesus whipped and handed him over to be executed on the stake. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s residence and gathered the whole body of troops together around him. 28 And disrobing him, they draped him with a scarlet cloak, 29 and they braided a crown out of thorns and put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. . . .  30 And they spat on him and took the reed and began hitting him on his head. 31 Finally, after they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak and put his outer garments on him and led him off to be nailed to the stake. 32 As they were going out, they found a man of Cy·reʹne named Simon. This man they compelled into service to carry his torture stake.. . . 35 When they had nailed him to the stake, they distributed his outer garments by casting lots, . . . 37 They also posted above his head the charge against him, in writing: “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.”

 

  • (Mark 15:1-32) 15 Immediately at dawn, the chief priests with the elders and the scribes, indeed, the whole Sanʹhe·drin, consulted together, and they bound Jesus and led him off and handed him over to Pilate. 2 So Pilate put the question to him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” In answer he said: “You yourself say it.” . . . 15 At that Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Bar·abʹbas to them; and after having Jesus whipped, he handed him over to be executed on the stake. 16 The soldiers now led him off into the courtyard, that is, into the governor’s residence, and they called the whole body of troops together. 17 And they dressed him in purple and braided a crown of thorns and put it on him; 18 and they began to call out to him: “Greetings, you King of the Jews!” 19 Also, they were hitting him on the head with a reed and spitting on him, and they got on their knees and bowed down to him. 20 Finally, after they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple and put his outer garments on him. And they led him out to nail him to the stake. 21 Also, they compelled into service a passerby, a certain Simon of Cy·reʹne, . . .  to carry his torture stake. . . . 24 And they nailed him to the stake and distributed his outer garments by casting lots over them to decide who would take what. . . . 26 And the inscription of the charge against him was written: “The King of the Jews.” . . . Even those who were on stakes alongside him were reproaching him.

     

  • (Luke 23:1-38) 23 So the multitude got up, one and all, and led him to Pilate. . . . 3 Now Pilate asked him the question: “Are you the King of the Jews?” In answer he said: “You yourself are saying it.” . . . 6 On hearing that, Pilate asked whether the man was a Gal·i·leʹan. 7 After ascertaining that he was under the jurisdiction of Herod, he sent him on to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem in those days. . . . 11 Then Herod together with his soldiers treated him with contempt, and he mocked him by clothing him with a splendid garment and then sent him back to Pilate. . . .  26 Now as they led him away, they seized a certain Simon of Cy·reʹne, who was coming from the countryside, and they placed the torture stake on him to carry it behind Jesus.. . . Furthermore, they cast lots to distribute his garments. . . . 36 Even the soldiers mocked him,. . . 38 There was also an inscription over him: “This is the King of the Jews.”

 

  • (John 18:28-19:24) 28 Then they led Jesus from Caʹia·phas to the governor’s residence. It was now early in the morning. But they themselves did not enter into the governor’s residence, . . . 29 So Pilate came outside to them and said: “What accusation do you bring against this man?” . . . 33 So Pilate entered the governor’s residence again and called Jesus and said to him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” . . .  So Pilate said to him: “Well, then, are you a king?” Jesus answered: “You yourself are saying that I am a king. . . . 19 Pilate then took Jesus and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers braided a crown of thorns and put it on his head and clothed him with a purple robe, 3 and they kept coming up to him and saying: “Greetings, you King of the Jews!” They also kept slapping him in the face. 4 Pilate went outside again and said to them: “See! I bring him outside to you in order for you to know that I find no fault in him.” 5 So Jesus came outside, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them: “Look! The man!” . . . The chief priests answered: “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 Then he handed him over to them to be executed on the stake. So they took charge of Jesus. 17 Bearing the torture stake for himself, he went out to the so-called Skull Place, which is called Golʹgo·tha in Hebrew. . . . 19 Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the torture stake. It was written: “Jesus the Naz·a·reneʹ the King of the Jews.” . . . 23 Now when the soldiers had nailed Jesus to the stake, they took his outer garments and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier, and they also took the inner garment. But the inner garment was without a seam, being woven from top to bottom.

 

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

No. The Watchtower has not forgotten how Christ was persecuted on our behalf, nor have they forgotten that he set the perfect example under the harshest of trials. We are reminded that this was for the benefit of our own example to imitate. We are also reminded that Jesus was under the added difficulty of knowing that every move would be scrutinized even more closely because he was also claiming to represent his Father perfectly through all of these trials.

Thank you for your thoughts, JWInsider.  My point is, however the Watchtower portrays Jesus, that is how the sheep imagine him.  In the two varying quotes I used, Christ wearing the crown “served to highlight the issue at stake”; while in the other, Christendom is responsible for portraying Jesus  with his face distorted in agony under a crown of thorns.  Personally, I believe that the view of agony serves to highlight the issue.

Considering all that he suffered, I doubt that even the present pictures of Jesus that you attached can be viewed as a valid depiction of the incident. Rightly though, we can only project by using scripture, what it may have been.

You said, “There is nothing wrong with such a conjecture, because one should be careful about adding anything that might not be there.”

Notice what you said in your initial post:

There were a few things you could never do with Jesus. You couldn't give him even a hint of a hooked nose, and he always had straight hair, never curly (dark brown or black). You should make him "handsome" and with slightly above average muscles. We don't do this any more, but we used to avoid any pictures of blood and wounds after he was whipped or while on the stake. (See the picture in the Knowledge book for an example.) By 1978, we settled on a Bethelite as a "model" for Jesus' face and used that same general likeness for every picture for several years.

Just a few years before, artists weren't allowed (for about 30 years) to give Jesus a beard . And that fact alone probably explains the problem with the crown of thorns, too. It makes Jesus look too much like the pictures that "Christendom" produces. 

Could leaving out a beard, or leaving out blood, be considered “adding” an opinion to the scene?  Or showing barely a trickle of blood coming down from a crown of thorns pushed tightly onto Christ’s head, “adding” an opinion in the picture you show? Why is it that the Watchtower pictures of Armageddon sway to the other side of the pendulum, but showing the blood shed by Christ for us, is hidden?

What about the visible statue of Jesus as solid and muscular?  I have been acquainted with the father of that Bethelite model, in fact this news was spread many hundreds of miles, at the least. t was always said how handsome his son is, such a perfect choice to represent Jesus.

Jesus’ glory while on earth was not reflected in his physical appearance, but in the spiritual.  While you point out that great care is given to all accounts of his arrest and death; Isaiah gives a very clear picture of how he appeared and how he was judged:

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.

 
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.

 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
 
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.  Isa 53:2-6

With all of his wounds he suffered, the physical, emotional and spiritual, we must look upon, for by them we are healed.

 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
 And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Are these scriptures of Christ's humility and lowly appearance evident in the pictures you have attached? 

“I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.”  Isa 50:6

“ What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.”  Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” Matt 26:66-68

True, there is more than meets the physical eye in all that Christ suffered, yet the symbolism of the crown of thorns and all of his torture and persecution, led to to the glory he has received in the eyes of his Father, and should be evident in ours.  We need to see the whole picture; we can obtain it from Christ himself. 

Should the Watchtower have such authority to sway the sheep by their own contrasting opinions in anything they teach and call it the proper food at the proper time? 

 “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.  Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? “1 Cor 10:21,22

 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  1 Cor 10:31 (Mark 12:10,11; Ps 118:23)

 The Glory of Christ

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