Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)
The tallest tree in the world is said to be Hyperion, a 379.7-foot-tall (115.7 m) redwood tree located in California, USA. If you’d like to experience such tall trees, you might enjoy a visit to Sequoia National Park where you can see 18 of the 30 largest trees in the world. Though there are many cool facts about redwood and sequoia trees, perhaps the most intriguing is their life span. Giant redwoods may live up to 2000 years, while giant sequoias may live up to 3000 years! Imagine that! Some of the very trees you may visit were growing when Jesus walked on this earth!
What is it that attracts us to such tall trees? Do we always like the biggest and best, the oldest and toughest? Perhaps it is another way of Jesus calling us to Him, through His awesome creation (Romans 1:20). Perhaps it’s because these trees point us to heaven and bring us closer to God. Or, maybe it’s that our Savior Jesus died on such a tree, the cross of Calvary.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
Why did Jesus do it? Why did He allow Himself to be beaten and bruised, then nailed to a cross between two thieves? Why did the Son of the Living God not call a Legion of angels to rescue Him and denounce His tormentors? Because He loves us. He was the only perfect sacrifice that could die for our sins. And while on that tree, He still had compassion, saying, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Because of Jesus’ love and sacrifice on that tree, we have God’s forgiveness and promise of eternal life in heaven. Jesus is the only door through which we can enter heaven. All we have to do is believe. When the sky was dark and the earth quaked and the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom, the centurion proclaimed, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39) Let us do the same.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)
Today’s TEA CUPP: As you prepare to celebrate Good Friday and Easter, why not take a walk in a nearby forest or park. There one can look up at the trees and find the tallest one that points you to heaven, while remembering the highest tree of all, our Savior Jesus’ cross. Thank you, Jesus, for all You have done, dying for our sins on that tall tree, and making a way for us to be with You in heaven. I believe in You, Jesus! I love You, Jesus!
Thus says the Lord God: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. Under it will dwell birds of every sort; in the shadow of its branches they will dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the Lord, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it.” Ezekiel 17:22-24 (NKJV)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.