The Passion of the Christ has become our primary ice breaker for preaching the gospel in Honduras. We just showed it in the mountains above our mountain last night.
Just like the Bible itself, the Lord seems to highlight a different point every time we watch it. Last night was marked by the scene where Jesus receives the crown of thorns. It is the first time we noticed that the Roman soldiers crowned Jesus
“King of the Worms”.
There are at least 350 Old Testament scriptures that point to Jesus. Several involve the original Tabernacle built by Moses approximately 1500 years before the birth of Jesus. If you have ever had the benefit of hearing Cathy’s Tabernacle teaching then you know that everything down to the smallest construction detail points directly to Jesus.
When I say small, I mean small.
Kermes vermilion or “coccus ilicis” looks more like a Beatle than a worm. Nevertheless, it was labeled a worm possibly because it loses the use of its legs after attaching itself to a tree to give birth.
Why does this matter?
Because Psalm 22, probably written 1000 years before His birth is one of the major prophetic passages concerning Jesus.
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. Psalm 22:6
The Hebrew word for “Worm” in the OT is “Rimmah” which means maggot and is exclusively associated with decay. However, the word for “worm” in psalm 22 is Towla “scarlet stuff, crimson, a dye made from the dried body of the female of the worm coccus ilicis.” Interestingly, the word “crimson” is from a Sanskrit word KṚMI-JĀ meaning “worm-made.”
One of the most poignant points for me in the Tabernacle teaching was concerning the crimson dye that was used to color the tabernacle curtains and coverings. (Exodus 26) It was obtained from the coccus ilicis worm.
According to Henry Morris,
“When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted.”
Not only did the worm have to die but her offspring would feed on her corpse until they were strong enough to go off on their own.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. John 6:53-55
Everything down to even the tiniest worm that died and shed its blood on a tree so that others may live was a prophetic depiction of the final sacrifice of Jesus who shed His blood for us on the cross so that all who believe and repent might be saved. It was the original act of communion whereby we symbolically eat His flesh and drink His blood in remembrance of why He came and is coming. Who would have ever imagined that in a world that idolizes fame, fortune, power, and charisma, a world where everyone is vying to be seen and heard, that the God of all creation would use a worm to point us back to Himself and the reality of Maranatha.
We never cease to be amazed at His intricacy and depth. Hence, awe remains my primary expression of worship.
It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. Prov 25:2
May you be a King.