Presently I am involved in setting up my second goatskin “page.” After preparing the rawhide and tanning it and for lasting use, it is carefully trimmed to size so that it will hold three columns of 42 lines of text.
It is this process of making guidelines that is very intriguing. Old rabbinic rules require that no metal come in contact with the skin, when he gets to this stage. To comply with these rules as well as the rules regarding the requirement to have lines that guide the placement of letters scratched into the skin, the habit for several millennia has been to take a thorn and use it to scratch such lines.
This is of great significance to the Christian. We read, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten Son, full of grace and truth.” It is required that the holy words of God be recorded on the skins of goats or sheep. In like form we have the holy divine and inspired words of God written on the skin of the most common and endearing animal form.
But this is only background. As I make these lines, my heart is filled with excitementâ€“both agony and praiseâ€“over the fact that thousands of holy scribes have demonstrated what would happen to Godâ€™s Son when He would come and live in flesh as our Messiah. His holy body would be afflicted, mangled and torn by thorns, done at the hands of those who had custody of protecting, guarding and preserving the holy Word of God.
The Roman authorities made sure that we would not miss this point, and they made a crown of thorns and so infamously smashed it down upon his head, creating intense pain and a great loss of blood as the protecting flesh of His scull is ripped open in the process.
Our Lord Jesus was not ignorant of the process that went into being a scribe, and even at the age of 12 was able to challenge the chief scribes on their own turf, and teach them the facts of what they did and why.
Our Lord Jesus knew perfectly well the many things who would befall Him in the process of bringing upon Him the ultimate torture that man can devise as they hoped to heap upon him utter shame and disgrace, and the awareness of manâ€™s complete and total hatred of Him. Yet by the power of God, and the intense and greater awareness of the reason for His Coming, He endured the Cross despised the shame and is now sat down at the right hand of the throne of God where He prays incessantly for us. What a Savior! And oh! what a thorn can do!