Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

The role of trees in the Bible – Day 20

(Not) the Dogwood tree — Christ’s cross

Bible text(s)

24Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that you have been healed.

1 Peter 2:24GNBOpen in Bible reader

13But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the scripture says, “Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God's curse.”

Galatians 3:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

According to a legend a dogwood tree was used for the cross on which Jesus was crucified. It adds that Christ caused the flowers of the dogwood to be a reminder of the cross on which he died by giving the flower two long and two short petals, and to have what looks like nail prints on the petals to remind us of his suffering. It’s a lovely story, but there is neither biblical nor botanical evidence for it. We don’t know what kind of tree was used, and it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that through his death on the cross, Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law. By becoming the perfect sacrifice, we no longer have to pay the penalty for sin — death. The cross is the place where God bears our sins and overcomes suffering and death, so that he may give life to a world overcome by sin and death (Revelation 22:14).

Christ bore our sins on the tree and through his death and resurrection we are restored to a living relationship with God. We all need Jesus to cleanse our past mistakes. We need him to fix the brokenness in our lives. We need him to guide us day by day.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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