Topic: The Talking Tree [Tuesday January 31, 2017]
Read: Colossians 1:15–20, Bible in a Year: Exodus 25–26; Matthew 20:17–34
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross. 1 Peter 2:24
One of the earliest Christian poems in English literature is “The Dream of the Rood.” The word rood comes from the Old English word rod or pole and refers to the cross on which Christ was crucified. In this ancient poem the crucifixion story is retold from the perspective of the cross. When the tree learns that it is to be used to kill the Son of God, it rejects the idea of being used in this way. But Christ enlists the help of the tree to provide redemption for all who will believe.
In the garden of Eden, a tree was the source of the forbidden fruit that our spiritual parents tasted, causing sin to enter the human race. And when the Son of God shed His blood as the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity’s sin, He was nailed to a tree on our behalf. Christ “bore our sins in his body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24).
The cross is the turning point for all who trust Christ for salvation. And ever since the crucifixion, it has become a remarkable symbol that represents the sacrificial death of the Son of God for our deliverance from sin and death. The cross is the inexpressibly wonderful evidence of God’s love for us.
Prayer: Lord, may my heart give You praise whenever I see a cross, for You gave Yourself for me in love.
Christ gave His life on the tree for our salvation.
Some experts in New Testament studies suspect that the poetic structure and inspiring thoughts of Colossians 1:15–20 reflect the lyrics of a first-century song of worship. Paul must have often sung about Jesus, the Peacemaker who changed his life by returning good for evil when He bore the sins of the world. Do you have anyone you would consider an enemy? If so, you probably know why Jesus’s example stands in such contrast to our normal human inclinations. The God who created and sustains the cosmos is the same God who chose to reconcile Himself to His enemies. Rather than turning on those who had done such evil to Him, our resurrected Creator reached out to say, I still love you. Come to me. Trust me, and I will forgive you and adopt you into my eternal family.