More Than a Tree

 

chair

Where was the tree planted that would eventually be used for the cross of Jesus Christ? Who, through the years prior to the crucifixion of my Savior, sat under that tree to seek shade from the scorching sun, and could they have ever imagined that this shade haven would be borrowed for a death that would bring life eternal to the lost? The cross… so much more than a tree.

If that tree could have spoken, what would it have said? Would it have willingly given of itself for such a thing? Would it have gladly lent its limbs and bent itself in subjugation to piercing nails, flowing blood, anguished cries…from God’s own Son?

The Creator – God Himself – birthed that tree out of the immense and complex and perfect places of His own divine mind, and when the heavenly blueprints were put into reality on this earth, and trees grew and lived and towered above fallen man, many years later on the very day that God would perform the ultimate sacrifice, did He personally choose that specific tree for my Lord’s death, or did He leave it to human hands to make that decision?

The cross – two pieces of wood fastened together to form an instrument of cruelty and torment by the enemy of righteousness, yet, God allowed it. Can you fathom that?

wood

When all hope seemed lost, God made a way for us – you and me – to be able to be reconciled to Him, and His love saw no limits. A long time ago a tree was planted and at the appointed time the Son of God would hang thereon. He, Jesus, would willingly allow the hands of death to impose relentless pain, despair, loneliness, and all of the sins of the world upon Him on that cross, and as the nails were violently forced into His sinless hands and feet, He thought of us…and the Blood flowed. And now, when God sees us, He sees the Red.

The fact that we are seen by God should be mind-blowing to us. In the vastness of this Universe…God. Sees. Us.

I am not a fleeting thought that ferments in the brain of a disconnected dictator; No, I am the apple of the eye of a Father who loves with a love so grand, so infinite, and so beyond my basest understanding…that He bled for me – and He bled for you too.

stone stairway

2000 years ago Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross for our sins. He willingly came to this earth and lived a sinless life, and when it was time for Him to lay down His own life for sinful man, He did so, sacrificially. On that cross, Jesus took sin, sickness, and death and demolished them. As His blood flowed that day, it was obedient to its calling of cleansing the sinner and delivering the prisoner…and you can be sure of one thing: all of Hell’s host hates it.

It’s a gift…and you accept it or reject it by your own free will.

For the lost… He will find you, and if you’ll allow Him, He’ll gather you up in all of that Calvary love and erase your yuck, and “today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.”

For the found…you can climb up on that cross positionally and realize that “our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

And then Jesus arose from the dead three days later! And we are raised with Him to walk in newness of life. But we do well to remember that the cross comes before the resurrection.

Ordinary life fills our days and our nights and we turn away from that ugly cross, don’t we? We want to see it as beautiful but the thought of the pain associated with it is just too much for our finite minds. Yet, God patiently awaits for us to embrace the cross and to let Him appropriate in us the beauty, the miracles, the forgiveness, and the very Love that it represents – and to allow that reality to fill us and become an integral part of who we are. And it should cause revival – yes sir – yes, ma’am, it should. And it should cause the cold hearted to cry out, the shy to be bold, the fearful to be brave, and the sinner to repent!

clouds and sky

A look into the past to times when revival broke out in various parts of the world, one will see a pattern of prayer first, and then a return to the preaching of the cross. As the humble prayers prepared the saints of God to preach the cross, they were heard by God and emboldened to declare the humility and sacredness of Calvary’s nails, while at the same time communicating the two great truths that can set the feet on the solid Rock of truth: First, that Christ died for us; second, that we are identified with Him in His death. And here is where the spirit is revived and the heart finds the rest it has been searching for…the cross – it’s more than a tree – It will set you free!

The Cross
Tortured soul thy flight begins here
At the cross where death meets life-
Kneel thee now – embrace the pain, dear
Sure hope follows sacrifice.

Faithless soul tis time to trust now
He Who paid for thee the price-
Yield thy will to He Who knows how
Be ye crucified with Christ.

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