After feeling the arms of His mother, the first object that Jesus’ body most likely touched was the wood of a manger. There is deep meaning then, that the last thing His body would have felt before death was the wood of the cross.
God used wood to show us something very special.
While trees live, they serve humans beautifully in sheltering us from winds, cooling us from heat, and replenishing the air we breathe. When we cut them down and use them before they die naturally on their own, they again serve humans in more ways than we can count. We can build and make almost everything we need from trees, we create heat burning them and we eventually bury our dead within wooden caskets.
We must take the tree while it is still alive because if it dies, rot and insects will destroy the wood and make it unusable.
God also took a living sacrifice to redeem His people.
He accepted the gift of His Son while He was strong and in His prime because Jesus was following the will of His Father and His perfect timing.
The greatest event in history did not take place on the ground of Earth or in the skies of Heaven. It happened suspended in the space between the two on the wood of a cross. Jesus took his last breath while brutally nailed to the wood of a tree and God the Father accepted His perfect sacrifice as reparation for all sins.
If trees could talk, that tree was weeping.
If trees had the gift of reason, that tree was begging for mercy from having to bear the weight of the Redeemer. If trees could feel, that tree would know that the precious blood running down and staining it dark was holy and life-giving. That poor tree would feel a grief beyond imagination for such a punishment. But that tree was also given a part in the sacrifice that opened Heaven’s doors and bridged the gap between Heaven and Earth. God gave that tree the hardest action a tree would ever bear. But that tree also got the best job ever because its wood once again joined Heaven and Earth by offering up the only perfect sacrifice so that God and man can again walk together in the Garden.d
As we enter into Holy Week, let us hold tight to the wood of the cross and keep close to the Savior.