December 25 2021
Today, Saturday December 25
Christmas and the Two Trees
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Revelation 22:1-2 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
A very special Merry Christmas to all my friends that have become a part of our Pastor Mike daily chats!
Today we celebrate the greatest event that ever took place in the history of mankind! You might be thinking that you thought the cross and the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ was the greatest event ever, and it would be hard to disagree with you! But honestly if Jesus was not born of a virgin, His cross would have no significance at all! It would have just been the death of another man and there would have been no resurrection!
It is on my heart today to focus on the real reason for the season and talk about the “Tree” of Christmas. The Bible begins with a reference to two trees that God planted in the Garden of Eden called the “Tree of Life” and the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. It is interesting that in last chapter of the Bible we find a reference to a tree, again called the “Tree of Life”.
For the purpose of this devotion we also want to notice that the cross of Jesus was referred to as a “tree”. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.” (Acts 5:30) And also in 1 Peter 2:24, we read: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
Why should the Cross of our blessed Lord be spoken of as a "tree"? Surely there must be some deeper meaning than that which appears on the surface. Maybe it was intended by the Holy Spirit that we should refer back to Genesis 2:9 and compare and contrast these two trees? We believe so, and today, as most of us have noticed, that one of the focal points of Christmas everywhere is the “Christmas Tree”, I want us to take a few minutes to consider some contrast and comparisons of these two trees. We will look at some contrast first.
The first tree was planted by God (Genesis 2:9). But the second tree, the tree to which our Lord was nailed, was planted by man. "And they crucified Him" (Matthew 27:35). The first tree was pleasant to the eyes. "…It was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired…” (Genesis 3:6). What a contrast from the second Tree! Here everything was hideous and repellant. The suffering Savior, the vulgar crowd, the taunting priests, the two thieves, the flowing blood, the three hours darkness—nothing was there to please the outward eye. The first tree was "pleasant to the eyes," but concerning the One on the second tree it is written, "They saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him." (Isaiah 53:2)
The first tree was called the “Tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. If you want to really understand the knowledge of good and evil you must go to the second tree! The cross of Jesus reveals like nowhere else the goodness, grace and mercy of God as He sacrifices His only Son for the sins of man! And the cross also reveals the evilness, vileness and wickedness of man as they crucify a man who loved, healed, fed and graciously ministered to everyone.
Adam was forbidden to eat of the first tree and became a thief when he disobeyed God and he got expelled from paradise. The thief of the cross was invited to eat of the second tree and when he did as he believed and received Jesus as the sinless Messiah, he heard the words, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”
There is so much more, so please listen to the chat today and celebrate the real reason for Christmas around the “Tree”!
Merry Christmas and God Bless!