Imagine being a tree. Your limbs stretch out infinitely from all sides of your trunk swaying in the wind. Instead of legs, your core, a sturdy wooden trunk, stretches deep into the ground splitting into a million different mouths deliberately sipping nutrients from the soil. Life is good. Squirrels tickle your sides as they scurry up and down your frame. The birds sing sweetly and nest in your branches. Each season revives and rejuvenates your prescient life cycles.
One fateful day an atrocious roar thunders near the base of your stem. As the cacophony waxes greater, excruciating pain deepens in your side as though you are being split in half. The vicious saw tears through your abdomen, and your graceful limbs fall and crash into trees beside. The agonizing hurt continues as the saw dismembers your trunk, branches, and limbs. Carelessly every part of you is thrown in a pile and carted to the Devil’s Den National Park in Arkansas.
Your severed limbs are then cast into an ash pile and burned. Your life-sustaining sap oozes from your core while the trunk atrophies under the blazing flames. Your majestic height, colossal limbs, and mighty trunk reduce to a pile of ashes for the sake of the campers’ warmth. Christian students burn your body to feed their fires and give light, food, amusement, and heat. In your dying moments, the sights and sounds around you are full of mirth, laughter, and gaiety. Nothing, save a million specks of ashes and the smell of smoke on the girls’ clothes, is left of you.
For One, this illustration is painfully clear. Our Messiah, who was the perfect image of beauty and tranquility, was brutally murdered for the sake of our joy. While many stood near His tree, the Lord endured tremendous agony. In an effort to give us warmth, joy, and light, Jesus died.Let His sacrifice not be in vain. In the scent of your life, carry the essence of Christ, your tree, your light, your sacrifice.
“What wondrous love is this Oh my soul, oh my soul that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the curse of my sin for my soul, for my soul. “