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And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” – LUKE 22:19
There’s nothing more majestic than a dogwood in spring, decked out with fabulous flowers! To some people, though, dogwoods hold a deeper meaning. The legend of the dogwood tree is an age-old story that tells the story of this magnificent tree and how it become the tree we know and love today.
Our story begins almost two thousand years ago in Israel. If you ventured into the forests of Israel at that time, you would have seen plenty of sturdy oaks, lofty cedars, walnut trees, and more—all of which are fine and noble trees, loved and used by carpenters.
However, one tree was prized above all others: the mighty dogwood. Back then, the dogwood lacked its distinct fruits and flowers, but it was still impressive, rising taller than any oak or cedar. Its wood was strong, hard, fine-grained, and easy to work with. It had no equal, and it was constantly in demand.
During this time, a simple carpenter was declared King of the Jews and was sentenced to death. The method of execution? Crucifixion. And the tree used to fashion the iconic wooden cross? A dogwood.
According to the legend, the dogwood felt great sorrow for the role it played in Jesus Christ’s death. While on the cross, Jesus sensed the tree’s anguish, and he decided to transform it so that it could never again be used in crucifixion. From that point on, the dogwood was no longer a tall, stately forest tree. Rather, it became a small and shrub-like tree with thin and twisted limbs.
Jesus was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. Three days later, he rose from the dead. At the same time, the dogwoods in the forest burst into bloom, and they continue to do so right around Easter in what is believed to be a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.
While the dogwood tree never again took part in an execution, it’s still said to carry the marks of Jesus’ crucifixion. Its four large petals represent the cross he died upon, and each petal displays four red-tinged notches that are said to represent four nail holes. And in the center of each flower is a green cluster that is symbolic of Jesus’ crown of thorns.
Think and pray
Let us remember, and may our lives also showcase the saving work of Christ on the cross.
Jesus, thank You for paying the penalty that my sins deserved. Thank You for making it possible for me to be reconciled to You, to know You, to walk with You and to be a part of what You’re doing in the lives of those around me. Help me to live this day in remembrance of all You have done and will do. Amen.
This legend has been handed down through the centuries, but this particular storytelling is from the Bower and Branch website. See the original post at https://bowerandbranch.com/blogs/