Ezekiel 17:22-24 This is what the Lord God says:
I will take a sprig
from the lofty top of the cedar and plant it.
I will pluck a tender sprig
from its topmost shoots,
and I will plant it
on a high towering mountain.
I will plant it on Israel’s high mountain
so that it may bear branches, produce fruit,
and become a majestic cedar.
Birds of every kind will nest under it,
taking shelter in the shade of its branches.
Then all the trees of the field will know
that I am Yahweh.
I bring down the tall tree,
and make the low tree tall.
I cause the green tree to wither
and make the withered tree thrive.
I, Yahweh, have spoken
and I will do it. (HCSB)
So yesterday’s post talked about taking this text as direct instruction for this physical world. Under the constraints that sin has placed on our globe, planting a cedar twig on top of a really high mountain wouldn’t work well. The soil’s too thin and there’s insufficient carbon dioxide.
But God wasn’t talking about an actual tree here. He was talking about his Son, the Savior of all mankind. And in that situation, everything He has said is perfect.
First off, you need to think of this tree as an inverted family tree. All the leaves and branches and twigs are people. Abraham and Sarah are at the base and their descendants spread out above them. When Jesus was born, he became an uppermost branch on that tree. He came from the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is a son of David.
But God, Christ’s true father, could not leave him attached to that tree. That tree brought with it the weight of sin. Even the most noble and faith-filled ancestor of Jesus died in his or her sins.
So God cut off that branch. He cut its growth short when Christ died on another tree.
However, the Creator never intended that as the end of the story. The high mountain where Christ suffered and died for our sins is also where God planted him anew. There recognition of who He truly is would grow and flourish as the resurrected Christ testified to God’s creative power to make all things, including sinful people, new.
Simeon saw some of this when he spoke to Mary. He knew that the truth of who Jesus was would separate people—some unto God’s kingdom and some to condemnation.
Jesus will grow so immense from that mountain that the entire world will be able to see him as Savior. And because of that, every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth will call him Lord. Yahweh. Immanuel. God with us.
And that’s what Christmas is all about.
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas