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It is no cooincidence that Jesus , our Tree of Life,  was carpenter before His ministry officially began.  Young Jesus assisted Joseph until Joseph died, then to support His mother , brothers and sisters, He took over His father’s business as Nazareth’s carpenter.   Jesus- Who Is the Tree of Life for our hearts, worked with wood at a very young age.  This was not Jesus’s own personal agenda, but the work His Father in Heaven chose for Him, as He did/does nothing independently of the Father’s Sovereign Will.     In an earlier blog post, I was inspired to mention how before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophesied that a branch would grow out of the roots from the stump of Jesse,and how Jesus was prophesied as being a “root out of dry ground”.    roots and branches involve trees.    Carpentry work involves wood, which involves trees too.   Jesus daily chopped, cut, formed, sanded and refined the wood needed to build useful items for the villagers of Nazareth.   Things like yokes,  doors, tables, etc.     It was hard laborous work,  which our Lord constructed useful items out of wood.      He desires to do the same with each of us who love Him as well-   we need to be cut, hewn, sanded, and fitted into something useful for His Kingdom purpose.  The sanding, cutting and refining/polishing process of wood is like the death to our self lives that He longs to accomplish within us.  It isnt pleasant but the end is worth it all.    In a sense, Jesus’s disciples all went through this carpentry process by Jesus-  and one of Jesus’s names is “The Carpenter”.  

Going back a few centuries, we read how God, the Father asked Abraham   to sacrifice Isaac, His only son.   When Abraham and Isaac were walking up the mountain chosen for this sacrifice, Isaac asked his father where the lamb was for the sacrifice as he was carrying the wood up the hill.    Abraham , with love, replied, “My son, God will provide a lamb”.      Centuries later,  our Heavenly Father also made the most expensive sacrifice of Himself, by giving up His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our sacrifice.     After Jesus’s ministry had come to a completion, He knew that it was time for Him to be offered up for the good of all mankind.    He willingly allowed Himself to be offered up to His enemies and endured endless hostile questioning in a mock trial.   Time will not permit me to mention all the excessive abuse He endured- more than other convicts placed before Pilate so I will stay with the point of this topic.     After He was scourged and humiliated , and so physically abused that He had no physical strength left, He was made to carry a heavy rough cut cross construction– made from a Tree, no less.   The hands that healed so many people and so lovingly constructed things of wood experienced horrible large splinters.   His hands , no doubt, bled as He carried that cross just as Isaac carried that wood up Mount Horeb centuries before.       What is also heartbreaking, is the fact that as Nazareth’s carpenter, Jesus probably didnt use iron nails to fasten the wood together.   He cut and refined the wood in such a way that it could be fitted together without a hammer and nail.    This is the same technique they used on the stones made to fit into Solomon’s Temple.     What is ironic is that while Jesus never used nails,  large iron nails were used on HIM, and driven into His hands and feet.        singer and songwriter, Michael Card, wrote a beautiful song with the lyrics, “Why did they nail His hands and feet?  His Love would have held Him there.”

Jesus, our Tree of Life, was crucified on a Tree so that we could receive Him at the center of our hearts, and so that our hearts would once again become as the Garden of Eden- free of thorns and crabgrass, with the Tree of Life in it’s midst.

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