If a seed or sapling could materialize a thought, what might it ask or think? Would it simply praise God the Creator or would it ask deep questions like it might in a children’s book? Questions like: I wonder what they will make out of me someday? You can almost picture the book, an artistic cover, a title like “what a tree might think” or something catchy like that. Perhaps a book about the wood made for the ships that brought people to America, or went into the stage for the Gettysburg Address. In God’s eyes doesn’t it seem more likely something far more majestic would manifest? I am thinking far out here this morning, it is between Good Friday and Easter! For God it would make more sense in this finite mind to be along the lines of “each tree grows straight up to give praise to the Creator”.
It is roughly the year 75 b.c. (although to ask a person in that day I wonder if they might say “what’s a year?”), and the floor of the forest is decorated with saplings like every year before and to be. To place your face on the ground floor of the forest you might be able to see the past few year’s saplings getting a little taller than our newbies! The human race continues through the years as these saplings grow mature in the cycle of Creation. The view in the forest changes naturally to reflect the handiwork of the Creator and His vision for that acreage. The heavens above display the fullness of His Glory each star lit night allowed to be clear sky!
A fateful day approaches tree kind as we all know and understand. Not to pull your vision away from the two thousand years ago thing, but even the padded recliner I type from at this moment has pieces of wood inside that have met the fate of the Creator’s tree. Ok, back to ye old times…I can picture the strappin’ fellas with their surely crudely created axes out to find a perfect tree for the cause. Prancing around the forest in those man robes they used to wear…had to catch on every darn branch those clothes. Sorry Lord rabbit trail through the forest there…oh yeah the forest! I won’t tell ye the year at this point, it would be a really bad spoiler alert to the vibe. I see these simple agricultural people heading out to the forest to chop down a tree. When you consider how many things were made of wood, it had to seem like a weekly event…”hey Hezekiah, it is ye fourth moon of Edu (for us like Thursday), you know what that means, about time to find another tree for…” And my wife wonders where the silly’s come from!
Hezekiah heads to the plush forest for yet another tree, probably complaining “out here, cutting up another crazy tree, this one to make something for the animals, there are men creating gold inlay for the Temple and I am creating something for ye old cow to eat from!! Arghhh!” Hezekiah probably spent two days, a lot of blisters, and a whole lot of sweat soaking into the old man robe to put together the rough-hewn cattle feeder! He had probably already built the fence, the shelter, other animal feeders, and not to mention numerous tools and implement stuff. Hezekiah was a busy man! I think a picture has been painted and the rabbit seems to be getting tired anyway.
Bounce back in your mind to the forest scene again (I know, not easy after man robe talk). Each clear night the sky looks the same…majestic and beautiful. The trees of the forest do their dance in the cool of the evening, swaying like a worshipper before the heavens (and how awesome that scene is!). At night the fate of a tree seems like an impossibility, only this vision of the galaxy above. The funny thing is, Hezekiah’s particular tree missed the greatest night sky known in all of human history. Aren’t all of your minds racing now? What could be more majestic and gorgeous than the view of the sky from the tops of the forest trees you already described? It came suddenly in the skies above! Like Jesse Duplantis often says “my favorite words in the Bible are …and then suddenly!”
The very trees that stood after Hezekiah’s tree was felled were there like any other night, praising the Creator until their days each came. The sky was clear and full of all the trees light friends, the stars. This particular night though, something different broke the galaxy sky wide open! And then suddenly…a brighter star than any tree had ever worshipped their Creator under appeared in the sky overpowering everything with brilliance and powerful light! The trees would want to ask questions again…”what does this light mean?”, “why is it soooo bright?”, and “did this come from Creator?”
The star of all stars of course is the star of the East from Matthew 2. It ushered in the Savior of the world that would never be the same again. Now back to our lovably sweaty fictitious Biblical character Hezekiah! Yes..it is 8:30 and the coffee is kicking in wonderfully! My left knee is twitching either because of fire or the caffeine…it is all good! Perhaps some writers will beleaguer the point here, but I get tired of typing at some point, and am only one tree in here (and the rabbit still seems to be panting heavily). Our tree felling hero Hezekiah has probably hacked through more trees with that crude ax then he cares to remember! Perhaps you have already married all these concepts in your mind to the flow of the story.
This first tree is so important to our lives. Remember, there are only two trees that are significant to the human race for all of history. The first tree ended up being a common use story. It was crudely fashioned by Hezekiah to do what it did…feed cattle…and oh ya, bedding for the Savior of the whole known Universe!!! Now if I missed it and Ahaziah, Hezekiah’s blacksmith friend made a manger out of metal, then we will craft a new story, somehow crafting “heavy metal” in…will see. You never know when the rabbit will suddenly get up and start running. So the full majesty of a simple manger built by human hands becomes a baby bed for the Creator’s Son…kind of trippy eh? So how blessed is Hezekiah’s work in the Kingdom, and no one knows the family who built it! I am ok with the fact that the tree could tell this story better than I did, I just was half awake this morning when this vision of the two rough- hewn trees came to me. In case I haven’t used up all of my writer’s license, I will bravely type about tree number two, which you have probably already guessed by now.
We now return back to the wonderfully fictitious world of Hezekiah. How do you not love Hezekiah? He is just an average dude, doing life, probably clueless to the connection of the Almighty he actually has everyday (aaahhh yes…us). I am going to further abuse my freelance licensing (as if that’s possible!) and add a ‘what if’ bend to it all. Screeeeecchhh! Now back to the forest view one more round! These other trees went on after their friend was mercilessly hacked into chunks on the ground. “Don’t look down whatever you do” they perhaps encouraged one another, keep your branches pointed to the sky! It is an admittedly bad humanization of trees I know. You thought this story was going to be serious! I saw rough hewn wood, the manger, et al, I am not thinking humorous Biblical tales here!
Jesus is now walking the earth being awesome for the people. He is now a grown man in the midst of His actually short ministry time (3 years according to the smart theo’s). The same trees we have been visualizing keep growing more mature until their fateful day. The world has been turned upside down by Jesus, His ministiry, and His life. People are getting upset! You all know what happens in Biblical times when people get upset at other people. They find ways to justify not really needing you to use up any more oxygen!!! The Romans were the power of the day as we all know. They had legions upon legions to get the job done…period. The Jews so wanted freedom from this tyranny and they envisioned Jesus as that key to freedom above all else. An end to the madness!
It may not even be remotely possible, but what if Hezekiah was run over by Roman control, hired to be a full time tree guy? Let’s listen in on Hezekiah heading to the forest for today’s work. “Are you kidding me? I thought making agricultural stuff was unrewarding as work…now these power hunger Romans have me out here cutting up crude trunks so they can torture criminals with! Ugghhh!” Wouldn’t it be mind blowing to find out that the tree He hung on was right next to the tree Hezekiah made the wood for the manger out of? Same forest, same area, same majestic view of the sky that the Eastern star rolled through?
So the Glory of all glory bleeds on the single most important piece of wood. The full sacrifice for the sins of the entire world for all of history! The enemy defeated by blood and trees! A scenario so unlikely that darkness could not possibly detect it. How could one tree hewn into a cross seem so important? For the millions of trees existing in history, there are only two that are truly “touched by God”.