Word from Scotland-The most unknown sentence in the New Testament
Is This the Most Unknown Sentence In The New Testament? “For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
One friend, when he has gone on speaking engagements, has read these words and then has asked, “Now where does this sentence come from? Old Testament, New Testament, or William Shakespeare?” The majority have usually been wrong, and yet these words are spoken by Jesus as he approaches Calvary.
We are in Luke Chapter 23 and at verse 31. Is this the most unknown verse in the New Testament? These words are spoken just before Jesus Christ is crucified. What does He mean? When a green tree is wantonly destroyed, what on the day of judgement will be done with the dry sticks of the wicked?
If this is what they do when the wood is green and full of life, what will happen to dry lifeless wicked unrepentant men? These are the words of a carpenter. I am green, life producing, full of sap, full of the Holy Spirit. What do you think will happen when you are dry and ripe for judgement? Weep for yourselves. Are you ready to meet God? Or are you ripe for Judgement? Read the verse in the context in which the words were spoken.
Read verses 32,33 and 34. He was numbered with the transgressors. He was crucified. He forgave.
There are so few words. The Bible is very economical here. We are given the facts, which are not embellished with great detail.
A pastor was speaking with a woman who had left the church and would not return because someone had offended her. He went to see her, and a long list of faults and accusations poured out. He listened, and then asked, “Did they spit on you?” No. They spat on Jesus. “Did they ridicule and scourge and mock you?” No. They did all that to Jesus. “Did they tell lies about you and plan and plot and conspire to get you out of the Church? No. They did all that to Jesus and He forgave them.”
He went on to say to her, “There is not one single thing you have told me that is worth holding onto and remembering. There is not one single grudge or grievance that is worth harbouring in your heart.”
This is a word we need to hear repeatedly. “Forgive”. A lack of forgiveness binds us emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and may even cause us to become physically sick, but certainly robbing us of that poise and power and peace of which we see reflected here in the life of Jesus.
When we release a spirit of forgiveness, we can discover healing, wholeness, love, peace and contentment can flood our beings.
Jesus did not want to be limited or restricted in any way whatsoever, so he releases a liberating spirit of forgiveness.
Jesus is on the Cross, and still people are sneering and scoffing. “Let Him save himself.” He didn’t need to save Himself. He had never sinned, and if he had saved his own life, He could not have saved you and me.
Jesus Christ was not going to prove who He was their way. but God’s way.
The people in this passage are either deeply moved, or mocking, and it is not unusual today to find similar reactions to Jesus Christ and the Word of God. We need to keep remembering this.
To heal men’s sick bodies, a touch was all that was needed, but much much more required to save and rescue people from hell.
The marks of sin could be soothed and smoothed away by the Hands of Jesus, but to remove sin, required the blood of the Son of God. The blood of the lamb was going to be shed at this special Passover.
And on that cross, Jesus Christ takes on the principalities and powers of hell, defeats them, and conquers them, and He emerges victorious and triumphant three days later.
Pilate had an inscription pinned above Jesus and it read, “This is the King of the Jews.” It is true whether Pilate believed it or not. You can disagree with it if you want to, but it is still true. A man can disagree with anything he wants to in this book, but it is still true.
“This is the King of the Jews”. Everyone who looked at that sight on Golgotha, would be able to read it, because it was written in Greek and Latin and Hebrew.
Greek was the language of culture and learning, and the language of philosophy, art, literature, and of ethics and morals at that time.
Latin was the language of government and authority and power. Jesus is the King of kings – the king of nations.
People say that you can’t bring Jesus into politics, which really means, let’s not take Jesus too seriously, and certainly not that seriously. How Jesus is so needed in political debates and discussions in these present days.
Hebrew, or Aramaic, was the language of the religion of the Jews. Jesus is King. He is Lord, in every area of life. How Jesus is so needed in The Church and how we need to learn his ways, and love with his love and minister with his power.
That most unfamiliar sentence leads on into that which is so vitally essential.