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Beyond the Legend

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"Beyond the Legend"
by Jack E. Dawson

 


 
 

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Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures.   
1 Corinthians 15:3-4

  The beautiful legend of the dogwood points us to Christ and His suffering, but this painting takes us beyond the legend to the rest of the Story. The faint image of a baby in the blossom at the left reminds us of Christ’s divine entrance into our world.  An olive tree just inside the fence symbolizes Christ’s night of prayer and suffering at Gethsemane.  The fenced graveyard reminds us that death, our enemy, is real. The large center flower tells the dogwood legend: Shaped like a cross that is stained with His blood, each petal’s tip is imprinted with the cruel nails that held Him.  The fading petals denote His suffering and death. A crown of thorns, at the center, is seen on the bowed head of Christ as He was lifted up between heaven and earth, dying for our sins.  He was buried and three days later came forth alive, as the three blossoms signify.  Do you see the tomb in the rock wall?  Notice that the stone is rolled back and the branch of resurrection is growing through the open door, blooming on the other side of the wall.  

   The ascending Lord is revealed in the third flower’s petal as it rises toward the sky, just as He rose from the earth and ascended back to heaven. New leaves emerging from the same flower remind us that when He returns He will make all things new. 

   The old log church suggests how long the message has endured, yet the Shepherd stands ready to greet whoever believes in the finished work of Christ.  This is the legacy beyond the legend: that Christ is alive and will return.  Are you among the believers who will stand and see Him face to face?

At the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood had reached the size of the mighty oak tree. So strong and firm was the wood that it was chosen as the timber for Jesus' cross.
To be used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the dogwood. While nailed upon it, Jesus sensed this, and in his compassion said. "Because of your pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender, bent, and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross–two long and two short petals.
"In the center of the outer edge of each petal will be the print of nails. In the center of the flower, stained with blood, will be a crown of thorns so that all who see it will remember."

The Legend of the Dogwood

   At the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood had reached the size of the mighty oak tree. So strong and firm was the wood that it was chosen as the timber for Jesus' cross.

   To be used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the dogwood. While nailed upon it, Jesus sensed this, and in his compassion said. "Because of your pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender, bent, and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross–two long and two short petals.

   "In the center of the outer edge of each petal will be the print of nails. In the center of the flower, stained with blood, will be a crown of thorns so that all who see it will remember."

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