Fig Tree Five
In the New Testament, a keen eye will notice two distinct Greek words for 'tree.' The word 'dendron' describes living, fruit-bearing trees, while 'xsulon' usually refers to dead wood or an implement of execution—like the tree on which Jesus was crucified.
Intriguingly, John employs both terms in the book of Revelation yet adds an unexpected nuance when discussing the "Tree of Life."
What might surprise you is that John chooses the word 'xsulon' for the Tree of Life. This is no arbitrary choice of words; it's a theological stroke of genius.
The Tree of Life, described as having leaves that never wither and ever-bearing fruit, is dubbed a 'xsulon'—the same term used for the wood of Christ's Cross.
The implication is profound: The Cross itself, often seen as an emblem of suffering and death, becomes a wellspring of life and healing in the spiritual realm.
So, where do we find the essence of life and the path to healing? Look no further than the Cross.
It stands as a paradoxical symbol—conjoining the realms of life and death, tragedy and triumph, in a manner beyond our complete understanding.
Through the lens of John's carefully chosen language, we discern that the Cross isn't just a historical artifact or a mere symbol; it's a living, life-giving reality.
12th Century Mosaic of the Cross as the Tree of Life in the San Clemente Basilica, Rome.
Scott Broberg - I have a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethel Seminary - San Diego - Biblical Studies with and emphasis on the Old Testament.
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