I was hovering somewhere between sleep and waking this morning after a very late night at work and I was thinking or rather I think that God was speaking. He gave me a thought about Jesus and His life. There were several common themes but the one I had never thought about or put together was wood. Jesus was born in a manger that would have most likely been made of wood. It was probably not the finest wood nor would it have been sanded down like furniture would have been. The manger was a watering trough for stable animals.
Yet, the King of Kings and Lord of
Lords spent His first days there.
His earthly father, Joseph, was a
carpenter by trade. Since, Jesus was the first-born, He would have
apprenticed His father in the carpentry trade. He would have worked with
wood to cut it, sand it, and form into beautiful pieces of furniture
for use among the villagers of Nazareth. Then, after Jesus' 3 years of
ministry from the age of 30-33, he was forced to carry the cross made
from wood down the Via Dolorosa to the hill of Golgotha. He didn't make
it all the way due to the cruel beating that He was forced to endure.
When He got to the top, they laid His arms against the cross bar and
drove nails through His wrists and the tops of His feet. Not just any
nails but spikes. The crosses were made from wood that was common to
that particular part of the Roman world. Most likely, the cross was
roughly hewn from olive trees. Although, there is a legend that it was
made from the dogwood tree and that God made the dogwood to not grow
very big from that point on. No Biblical basis for that, of course, but
interesting, nonetheless. The wood of the cross would have been rough
and full of splinters piercing His skin. Jesus Christ, Wonderful,
Counselor, God-incarnate, left this earth the way He came in: surrounded
by unsanded, splintery wood. Yet, while He walked the earth, he took
that same wood and sanded it and polished it. The same way He does that
with wood, He does it with us. Jesus takes us in our rough form that is
full of splinters then He sands and polishes us into a beautiful piece of art.
Thank the Father in Heaven, who orchestrated this
beautiful plan so that we might get to see Him there one day. From the
manger to the cross, what a journey! What a life! What a wonderful
legacy to those of us who believe! The journey didn't end there. Jesus
Christ rose again on the 3rd day and that is what makes Him different.
No other "god" has ever risen and been seen by more that 500 people
after his death. May the God of peace richly bless you and your during
this CHRISTmas season!
I wrote this several years ago but it is still one of my favorite pieces I have ever written!