Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Reflection

The dogwood....glorious flowering tree of spring...state flower of Virginia...tree with legends holy.

Legend of the Dogwood

An old and beautiful legend has it that, at the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength it was selected as the timber for the cross, but to be put to such a cruel use greatly distressed the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Jesus in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all said to it:

"Because of your sorrow and pity for My sufferings, never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross.

Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross ~ two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints ~ brown with rust and stained with red ~ and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember."

~ Author Unknown

Pink and red dogwood....

The pink dogwood flower is said to derive its delicate color from its blush of shame for the way the dogwood was used to make the cross for Christ's crucifixion. The red dogwood reminds us of Christ's blood shed for our sin.

But do they grow in Israel? Posted by Picasa

Isaiah 53: 3-9
3 He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!

5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.

8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people.

9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave."

~ New Living Translation
No, the dogwood tree does not grow naturally in Israel and the legend is just that. The event of that story is true, foretold by the prophet Isaiah and orchestrated by God Himself and for what reason? So that we might be able to have intimate fellowship with the Holy God. All we have to do is accept and believe... how can I not be grateful?

My prayer is that you remember, reflect and receive.... in this holiest of seasons.

(end of post)

Recommended Site: A Holy Experience


Sandra Hangey said...

I was happy to see at the end you said it was a legend. thanks for sharing these stunning photos, the colors are so brilliant and beautiful. and for sharing the legend with us, it is beautiful also. now i am wondering if the cross was made of olive wood, since that is what i have always believed but don't know why.... humm wonder what google will say.

Ginny Hartzler said...

Your pictures are georgous. I have been snapping dogwoods for hours, but none of mine are this pretty. A beautiful devotional for Easter weekend!!

Nikki-ann said...

So beautiful :)

Kenju said...

Absolutely beautiful flowers and I will remember, reflect and receive. Happy Easter.

Credman said...

Thanks for the reminder. I am enjoying my dogwood trees. Your post made me think of fairy stones, which also have a cross-related legend.

Ramblingwoods said...

I didn't know is a time for reflection and for appreciate....Michelle

Beverly Whitcomb said...

Beautiful photos and a wonderful, thoughtful post. Thank you.