Gloriously complex, the colours and structure of the passion flower always grabs attention. For hundreds of years, it has been given importance as a symbol within Christian culture- it started when Spanish Christians “discovered” it in South America.
Called “Espina de Cristo” (Christ’s thorns) by these missionaries, they gave each part of the flower symbolic meaning in recognition of the crucifixion story – the passion of the Christ.
Five sepals and five petals refer to the ten faithful apostles (excluding Judas the betrayer, and Peter who denied knowing Jesus three times). Three stigma represent the three nails that held Christ to the cross, while five anthers represent his five sacred wounds. The tendrils of the flower are said to resemble the whips used to flog Jesus, while the filaments, which can number in excess of a hundred depending on the flower, depict the crown of thorns.
If this symbolism appeals to you, use it as a reminder and meditate on the meaning of the Passion for you.
Or if that doesn’t draw you, just examine the picture. Such an amazing flower… it surely suggests that such complexity requires an amazingly competent designer and Creator. Then the passion flower becomes a wonder- and the best response is to praise and worship the One who caused such functional beauty to exist. Psalm 57 v5 is then a logical vehicle of praise, humbling ourselves and glorifying God Almighty.
“Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the Earth.”Psalm 57 v7
Let beauty cause you to wonder… and wonder will lead you to praise.