The True Tree of Life

by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey

I love Easter! To me, it commemorates the ultimate Clash of the Titans. It was Love versus evil and death in a smack-down fight, and Love won. Love finished the work.

On the night before the crucifixion, Jesus wrestled with His humanity in a garden called the Mount of Olives. We now call that Maundy Thursday. He had to decide between His very human desire to self-preserve and His God-driven desire to redeem us. A tough decision. He already knew those He loved the most would run away, deny Him, and betray Him. He also knew the crowds were going to turn on Him. It’s one thing to die for people that adore you, it’s another to choose to die for people who are spitting in your face and nailing you to a cross.

In the Garden of Eden, when Adam was asked if he had eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the first thing he did was self-preserve. He blamed his wife and God. He accused his wife of making him sin and blamed God for creating her. In the garden known as the Mount of Olives, Jesus could have done that. We were guilty and God did create us. But Jesus did not blame anyone for anything. Instead, He took all the blame for our mistakes and went to a different tree, the tree of Calvary. His tree of death became our Tree of Life.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the tree Jesus died on, and just what it means to us. I know in the Bible God refers to us, humanity, as trees. Scriptures tell us when we trust in the Lord we are trees with deep roots. The New Testament refers to us as fruit-bearing trees, and the book of Isaiah calls us believers Oaks of Righteousness. So if we are considered trees, then what is the significance of Christ being nailed to a tree? I think of the cross as us, as humanity. His body was affixed to that tree as He and the Father worked together to conquer evil and death to save us.

On Maundy Thursday He chose us instead of Himself. On Good Friday He became our Tree of Life when He laid His life down on the tree of Calvary. He spoke three Hell crushing words right before He died, “It is finished.” The smack-down was over. Love had won. All our sins were permanently punished. Past, present, future. All of it. On Sunday He walked out of His grave to show us sin had been permanently dealt with. Love/Jesus conquered death and gave you the ability to be adopted as a child of God.

Your trust in what Jesus did on the cross gives you access to the most incredible, powerful Being in the Universe, who becomes your Father. He is more fun and easier to get along with than you ever dreamed. If He can keep this former speed freak enthralled for 14 years, He’s got to be all that and a bag of chips!

In case you are wondering why God would this, you need look no further than Romans 5:8. It says, “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Did you notice the word demonstrates is in the present tense? That is because the Tree of Life we call Calvary is still God’s demonstration of love. Jesus finished the work. The price has been paid to give you access to a Father who was willing to pay the ultimate price to show you how loved you are. And all you have to do to eat from the Tree of Life is believe.