“Tree of Life”
The Illustration of the Month is a little different this time around. You see, I have a visual of the cross that I can’t get out of my head. I have always imagined that, for our Lord’s followers, the time between Good Friday and Easter Sunday had to have been a terrible stretch of time. In hiding, afraid for their lives, bleak and hopeless, those must have been the longest three days in history. I imagine as the women walked to the tomb on Sunday morning with the spices they had prepared, they too felt scared and alone, with no hope.
We know the story: they go to the tomb and find it empty, an angel tells them that Christ is not there, that He is risen, and they go out to tell the disciples what they found.
What if they had to pass Golgotha on their way to the tomb, though? Try as they might to avoid the place where their world came crashing down just days before, what if they were forced to walk right by it? Maybe they would quietly, sullenly pass by, staring at the ground or the sky, looking anywhere but at the cross, doing anything to distract themselves, to keep from reliving the horrific events of that awful day. As they pass by, though, maybe something catches their eye. Something is moving in the wind, and they look up to find that there are leaves sprouting from the dead wood of the cross. Everywhere where the blood of Christ was spilled, new life springs forth: vines, branches, blossoms, and even fruit!
They are still confused, distraught. They won’t remember the words of their Lord until after the angel has spoken to them at the tomb, but this is the first clue that things are not how they expected to find them today. When they look back on the events of this miraculous Sunday morning, they will remember that where they expected to find a tree of death and punishment, they found a Tree of Life.
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