Like a Root out of Dry Ground.
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“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.”
There they were, next to the dead stump: stubborn February daffodil sprouts showing themselves. After a long winter, it is good to see them. They speak of life to come, warmth, and spring.
In our Lenten contemplation of the cross, the Man hanging there may appear to be nothing more than a dead hope, a dead stump, and failed vision. Is this the end of hope and life? Part of the spiritual winter that never ends?
Not so! God’s plan is simply so surprising that you and I can not take it in at first. God’s Son would die, not in tragedy, but in fulfillment of the Law and our terrible judgment upon our sin. He, this Jesus, would pay the price for forgiveness for the sins of the world. And very soon, the winter of condemnation will end.
He will come up from the earth where He is buried and rise to new life. However, first the deadness of our sin condition needs to be understood, and we must understand the greatness of the Sacrifice upon that cross.
The winter of sin never seems to end. But God’s plan is working even when there seems to be nothing but death, grief, and pain. The Son of Man has come and will obey the Father’s plan, and He will bring new life in the midst of death.
Father, thank you for sending Your Son for me. What love you have for me, a sinner, that my Lord would die for me. Grant us faith in the midst of the winter, that Your plan is working. Thank you for Jesus’ death on the cross, that I might be with You forever. Amen.
“When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.”
Text and Picture copyright Steve Nickodemus