The symbol of the Fruit
When Jesus and the apostles came back to Jerusalem from Bethany they saw the fig tree that Jesus had approached hungry the day before. When he found no fruit on the tree he cursed the tree by saying, “No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.” (Mark 11:12-14)
Tuesday before Jesus died, the apostles saw the tree withered and dead, they marveled. Jesus answered, “Have faith in God…” (Mark 11:20-23) Jesus used the fig tree to teach a lesson to his apostles about how faith in God help you be fruitful and bring forth good fruit to bless the lives of others.
The almond tree is the first tree to blossom in the early spring. Jesus is referred to as bringing forth the “first fruits” of the resurrection. He was the first to be resurrected just as the almond tree is the first to bring forth its fruit. Incidentally, the Menorah in the Holy room was designed after the almond tree – the tree that brought forth “first fruit” and light, just as the burning bush and the tree of life.
At the Passover a symbolic food of fruits and nuts, called charoset, is served to help us remember the mortar or clay used while building the pyramids in Egypt. The root word for charoset is cheres meaning “clay.” (see blog post on clay)
Also, there are four cups of wine (grape juice) that are drank throughout the Seder. Each of these four drinks are symbolic of a blessing that Christ has given us all. The four blessings are:
1. I will bring you out (from Egypt or the world)
2. I will deliver you (from bondage)
3. I will redeem you (from sin)
4. I will take you to me to be my people (you will be my covenant children, my heir, I will be your Father and benefactor)
The Law of Moses required that a portion of all “first fruits” be brought there as an offering in token of the whole. The understanding was that when God accepted a part, He also sanctified the whole.
- First fruit of the womb – the first born son – brought to the temple
- First fruits of earth – seven species – brought to the temple
- Fruits of missionary labors – the proselytes – were brought to the temple
The purpose of marriage in Hebrew understanding was to bear fruit. There are many ways to do so, besides childbirth, some of them are:
- Bear Fruit in terms of souls (Proverbs 11:30)
- Bear Fruits meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8)
- Bear Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
- Bear Fruits of our lips (praise) (Hebrews 13:15)
During this Easter Season think about the fruits you bear and what are you giving to God in part that is accepting as a whole? May God grand us the eyes to see what we have not been able to see in Easter before, a new and deeper understanding!
- What are some of your fruits or results in your life that testify of Christ?
- How are you preparing for the Resurrection?
- What is holding you back from having more faith in God?
- List some of the fruits you bear
- What are “first fruits” you have witnessed in your life? in the church?
Today’s first video is about the Seder meal and the preparations leading up to it.
The second video here is a version of Dayenu, a traditional song of the Passover. Dayenu means, “It would have been enough”. This song is all about if God had only done _________, it would have been enough showing just how much God blesses our lives. ~Thom
PS: Here’s a link to a detailed explanation of the song and the words in English, Dayenu PDF.