I remember the first time I gave a girl a flower…it was actually the only time I gave a girl a flower (other than giving people my boutonniere at weddings because I don’t want it). It was a pretty tough decision. It was simply for a birthday, but the question kept flying through my mind…if I get a rose, will she think that I like her? What if its a yellow rose, will that make a difference? Such a tough thing to do, because the rose carries so much implication. All in all, it worked out well…she accepted the rose, and we remained friends with no awkwardness.
But when you really think about it, the rose shouldn’t really seem like the most beautiful portrayals of love. I mean, the thing is covered in thorns. It’s like you’re handing a girl a weapon or something…and if they aren’t careful they can very easily experience tons of pain and start bleeding. But you know what…it wasn’t always like that. There was once a time where the rose was simply a beautiful rose with no thorns (post of “Before The Fall” explains the idea that everything was perfect before sin entered the world, but after Adam and Eve fell, God cursed the world, including thorns and thistles growing on plants and such). There was such a plant that was just the beautiful rose, growing with long stems, and Adam and Eve could grab them as they please with no harm or worry or danger. But once they sinned, God had to give a consequence, and the thorns was one of them. And only after seeing that do I truly understand the beauty in the rose.
Jesus is that rose for us. Before everything, Jesus was there…in all His beauty, in all His greatness. But once sin entered the world, a punishment was given, and thorns were placed. Jesus came to humanity, and because of our sins, he suffered the consequence and had a crown of thorns thrust upon His head. The rose is a reminder of our salvation. The thorns are the price paid for us. The thorns actually make the rose seem so much more beautiful…such a great thing is able to grow and survive among such evil and dangerous objects. Jesus Christ took on the thorns and the nails and carried the cross so that we wouldn’t have to. He submitted himself to pain and suffering so that we could experience joy. Now that’s love.
I’ve never given anyone a rose since that one time, nor have I ever received a rose (ever). If the time ever comes up, though, I will truly see the picture of love. Give someone you love a rose, and remind them of the grace of God.