Yesterday, I ate my first apricot off of our tree. My wife and I have an apricot tree on the side of our house. The previous owners planted it, but we’ve tried to nurture it. Despite the windstorms and a tornado, we still have a nice crop of the fruit (which I love). Apricots are difficult to grow in West Texas. The wind and early hail are challenges to their fruit bearing. But the biggest challenge is the lack of water. This year, we’ve had plenty of rain, so we’ve made a good crop. But the truth of nature is this: roots need water. Ask any farmer or gardener. They know that roots need water. Without it, the root withers and dies.
I think that one of most fascinating descriptions of Jesus comes from Isaiah the prophet (writing centuries before our Lord’s birth). He said: “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2).
“Like a root out of dry ground,” Jesus was rejected from the time he was a baby until he drew his last breath. He was rejected as an infant by his earthly king, Herod (Matthew 2:13-15). His own family rejected him (John 7:5). His hometown rejected him (Luke 4:28-30). And, many of his own followers rejected him (John 6:60-66).
Jesus was “despised and rejected of men” (Isaiah 53:3). Like a root in dry ground, our Lord died on a cross. But to prove the power of God over death, Jesus walked out of that grave, alive. For those of us who follow Jesus, we know that he will lead us to eternal joy.
Woodlawn church of Christ