The sequoia tree, one of three species of redwoods, is among the world’s largest and most enduring organisms. It can grow to 300 feet in height, weigh over 2.5 million pounds (1.1 million kg), and live for 3,000 years. But the majestic sequoia owes much of its size and longevity to what lies below the surface. A twelve- to fourteen-foot-deep matting of roots, spreading over as much as an acre of earth, firmly grounds its towering height and astonishing weight.
A redwood’s expansive root system, however, is small compared to the national history, religion, and anticipation that undergird the life of Jesus. On one occasion He told a group of religious leaders that the Scriptures they loved and trusted told His story (John 5:39). In the synagogue of Nazareth He opened the scroll of Isaiah, read a description of Israel’s Messiah, and said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).
Later, after His resurrection, Jesus helped His disciples understand how the words of Moses, the prophets, and even the songs of Israel showed why it was necessary for Him to suffer, die, and rise from the dead (24:46).
What grace and grandeur—to see Jesus rooted in the history and Scriptures of a nation, and to see how extensively our own lives are rooted in our need of Him.
Father in heaven, please help us never forget that the history of Israel and the inspired words of Scripture ground us in seeing our need of Your Son.
All Scripture helps us see our need of Jesus.
This remarkable passage records Jesus Christ’s explanation of the scriptural foundation to His redemptive ministry on earth. He tells the disciples—and us—that Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms bear witness to who He is. The expectations of the Jewish nation had been that Messiah would be a conquering hero who would liberate them from tyranny. In the time of Christ, the obvious oppressor was the Roman Empire. Yet God’s eternal plan from before the creation of the world was that forgiveness of sins would be secured through the substitute blood offering of Messiah—Jesus of Nazareth. He would provide redemption for every member of the human race who would hear and believe the gospel of grace. Jesus told His followers that opposition and persecution would accompany this proclamation of the gospel, but an eternal reward and joyous fellowship with the Creator-Redeemer God would be given to those who persevered.
Who do you know who needs to hear this good news of grace? Dennis Fisher