The Trees of Christmas
Do you enjoy decorating the Christmas tree? Many people love them. I like seeing the big ones in parks. Our children have fun decorating our tree each year in our home.
We have a “Thanksgiving Tree” in our house as soon as November rolls around. Then we re-decorate to make it our Christmas tree in December. Use the same tree for nearly 2 months of the year.
Having family customs and traditions will make your home a place of special memories. Your kids will love it and remember it. Even if it is inconvenient for you, the memories will be worth it later.
The Christmas Story begins and ends with a tree.
There are Several Trees in the Bible as we think about the Christmas Tree.
Our First Tree is in the Garden of Eden.
The Garden of Eden was full of Trees: Fur, Cedars, Chesnut, etc… : Ezekiel message to Pharaoh included trees. The King of Assyria was compared to these trees and Pharaoh was told he would become greater than these trees: Ezekiel 31:8-9 says, The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. 9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. Pharaoh would also fall in his pride: Ezekiel 31:18 To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
The “Tree of Life” is mentioned in Genesis 2:9, And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
“The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” is also spoken of in Genesis 2:16-17. God told Adam and Adam told Eve to not eat the fruit of this tree. They could eat all the other tree fruit, except this one.
Eve was tempted by the Serpent and Adam chose to disobey the Lord. They fell to the Temptation of the Tree: Genesis 3:17 says, And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
This resulted in SEPARATION from God: Genesis 3:2 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Much SORROW came about including being kicked out of the Garden of Eden: Genesis 3:24, So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Apparently, before sin, Adam could eat the fruit of the “Tree of Life.” After sin – God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden so they could no longer eat the tree of life.
The Next Tree is in The Garden of Gethsemane.
While not mentioned specifically, the Lord Jesus was praying to God the Father in the midst of a grove of Olive trees. This location is the Mount of Olives. There are many of the same trees alive today that were there when Jesus met with God the Father in prayer. The photo above is of one of those trees.
Matthew 26:36-39 tells us, Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
From Olive Oil to Olive Branches, much is symbolized in the Olive Tree.
- A Symbol of Preservation. Genesis 8:11 declares, And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. The Lord preserved the human race and the olive branch was a sign of hope that they survived the global flood and a new life was emerging following the flood.
- A Symbol of Prosperity. Olive Oil; we cook with it. It is used in Old Testament ceremonies. Even Candles (or lamps) were lit with it in the Old and New Testaments.
- A Symbol of Peace. Olive Branch. Think United Nations logo. There is an Olive Branch.
In the middle of the Olive Grove Jesus was making Preservation Possible, giving us the Prosperity of Heaven, and Praying for believers to have Peace with God. Peace is possible only because of His blood that was shed on the third tree we will look at – the Golgotha Tree. Because of the sin surrounding the first tree – an our own sin, Jesus came to earth to die on a tree.
Because of sin – we are at enmity against God. In other words we are enemies towards God. That is not a good place to be! Observe the following:
- John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
- John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
- 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
The Third Tree is The Golgotha Tree; Otherwise known as “The Old Rugged Cross.”
- Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
- 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
- John 12:32-33 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
WE GO FULL CIRCLE. We Begin with a Tree in the Garden of Eden, We walked up the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed on His way to the Cross, and then– it was on that Old Rugged Tree – Jesus died for your sin.
- The First tree was fashioned by God and sinfully visited by man.
- The Last Tree was Fashioned by Man and selflessly visited by God.
- The First Tree was Perfect and wonderful to see.
- The Last Tree was splintered, ugly, and bloody – hard to look at.
- The First tree opened mankind’s eyes to sin.
- The Last Tree covers God’s eyes to our sin.
- The first Tree was Adams Downfall.
- The Last Tree was Jesus’s Death.
- It was because of the First Tree That Jesus had to come to earth.
- It is because of the Last Tree that we can go to Heaven.
After spending 3 entire days dead – Jesus rose again. After dying on the cross, and paying the price for our sin – Jesus came out of the tomb. Just as Jesus came the first time – He is coming again, a second time.
Believe in the First Coming of Jesus. He came to die on the cross taking your sin. Christmas time is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus who came to earth to make a way for you to be united with God. Without Jesus we have no relationship or fellowship with God the Father. While the first tree became the ruin of man, the last tree became the place of our salvation.
Why not accept Jesus by faith today? Receive the free gift of eternal life. It is free to us; yet paid for with the high price of the life of Jesus.
Don’t look at the Christmas Tree in your home the same way today. Let it remind you of the first and last tree. The Christmas Story begins and ends with a tree.