April #WordPrompt – GREEN

An essay by Jackie Houchin, When the Wood is Green.

WordPress has recently introduced the Monthly #WordPrompt feature. For April the #WordPrompt is GREEN. Bloggers are to use that prompt as a starting point for whatever they create, be it writing, art, photography, etc.  to publish a new post.

Here’s mine.

Quoting from Luke 23:26-31, the Bible, English Standard Version. “And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?


How appropriate is this passage for “Good” Friday, when Christians remember the dark day that Jesus was crucified? Jesus, the good teacher, the gentle healer, the long-awaited Messiah. God with us. Or as Peter proclaimed, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ What wrong did He do to be sentenced to death on a Roman cross?

No wrong. There was none in Him. Only simple obedience. His Father sent Him to do a job and Jesus obeyed.

God loved the world of people.  He had created it perfectly, then watched it crumble and groan from a single act of disobedience, a sin compounded over and over by the crown of His creation. God destroyed it all once, saving one man, and those that were his, safe through a flood. Soon a final destruction and renewal was coming and God needed One to go and save His elect from it. 

Will You go, Son?

Yes, Father.

It will be a very bitter cup to drink.

I know, Father. I will drink it.

To the last drop?

Yes, that Your will be done for Your Glory.

So Jesus laid aside all His own glory, all the continual praise of the hosts of heaven, and came to earth in the womb of a virgin. He was born, grew up, and at thirty began his 3-year ministry, showing God to the world who had forsaken Him. A few believed Him.

But He was a threat to the powers-that-be. People listened to His amazing teaching and questioned the powers-that-be. His way was love, theirs was control. His yoke was easy, theirs heavy and burdensome. The powers-that-be stood firm in the LAW. He stood firm…as the fulfillment of the law. They said, ‘Wash your hands!’ He said, ‘Let me wash your heart.’

So they connived to kill him. And one of His own agreed to help…for a price. Then a kiss in a torch-lit olive orchard, rough handling, rude words and actions. HE IS GUILTY OF BLASPHEMY! said the seventy. Dragged to a Roman court. Kill your KING?  ‘YES!’ the crowds roared, spurred on by the powers-that-be. Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

“And they took Jesus and led Him away. He, bearing His cross, went forth to a place called Golgotha, the skull.  He fell to His knees among jeers. He struggled to rise and fell again. A strong dark bystander was roughly pulled in to carry the beam for Jesus. 

Women cried – their mother hearts weeping for another mother’s son.

“Don’t weep for me… Weep for yourselves…”  His eyes full of pain and compassion mingled together with horrible warning. “If they do THIS when the wood is green, what will they do when the wood is dry as kindling and a match is set to it.”  Oh weep, Jerusalem. Your time is coming.

There they crucified Him, the Son of Glory.

When he died – bearing the sin of the world of people that God so loved, experiencing God’s wrath on their sin to the depth of His being, till the last bitter drop – his final cry was a triumph. He’d done it. “IT IS FINISHED!”  The earth shook, the noon sun turned to darkness, the massive veil in the Temple separating the Presence of the Most Holy God from mankind ripped in two from the top to the bottom. The Way to God Almighty, the great I AM, was opened to all who would believe and trust in Jesus’s sacrificial death.

God was pleased with His Son. He had done the job He was sent to do perfectly. And to show His pleasure, God raised His Son from the dead and welcomed Him back to glory. Jesus presented His own sacrificial blood on the alter in Heaven, and it was accepted for the atonement of many.

“I’ll be back soon, Father,” Jesus said as he returned to encourage his devastated disciples and show Himself alive and “new” to those who believed – 500 at one time!  Then with a farewell word to them, and a command to wait till He sent His Holy Spirit, Jesus was up and away to His Father. Just as those who believe in Him will do one day.

Oh, believe now!  While “the wood” is green!  Before it dries out and is set aflame.










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