Christ the Tree of Life

(audio sermon)

Christmas has a tree because the Bible has a tree. Roman influence is there but it’s ultimately irrelevant. The Roman tree survived because it reminded the church of a biblical tree – a tree lost in Eden, won at Calvary, and restored with the New Jerusalem.

Speakers notes follow –

Christ the Tree of Life

Gen 2. 8-10, 15-17, 3. 22-24, Rev 22.1-4

Been in Love/Hate relationship? Fall in-out-in – people/things – love hating the Christmas tree

Christmas Tree (slide) – Roman solstace celebrations – sun’s (soI) endurance – deathly cold winter – December each year – evergreen – lasting life

Many people have spoken out about how the church compromised – zeal with out knowledge? – demon behind every tree – Conspiracy theorists –Illuminati triangle – I was one of them

But why has the Christmas tree survived among Christians 2000 years – Could it be the tree reminded Christians of something Biblical – the Tree of Life?  (Genesis/Revelations)

Recently I read for the first time about the Chrismon Tree (slide) – A tree that shows Christ as the Tree of Life. Frances Spencer 1957. It has totally changed my view

Did the church see the Christmas tree as a symbol of Christ? star of Bethlehem is on the top – presents to it like the wisemen – there is an history of the church seeing the Tree of Life as Christ.

The Eastern Orthodox Church has a hymn –

‘Make ready, O Bethlehem, for Eden hath been opened for all. Prepare, O Ephratha, for the tree of life hath blossomed forth in the cave (stable) from the Virgin; for her womb did appear as a spiritual paradise in which is planted the divine Plant, whereof eating we shall live and not die as did Adam. Christ shall be born, raising the image that fell of old.’

Prophecy – Proverbs 11.30 – ‘The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives’ Christ saves lives – giving his righteousness – curse for us on the cross – Galatians 3.13 ‘Cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree’- tree of death before the of life

Focus on the Tree of Life for a moment – Revelations – Genesis

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God – Rev 2.7

– those who conquer through Christ – restored to the tree – cut off from

On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse – Rev 22. 2

Eden (delight) – river – tree – 12 crops monthly because 12 is the number of God’s people – 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of the church – church that is restored to paradise and the tree of life – from all nations – leaves of the tree heaI from death – no longer a curse on them – Christ became a curse for them on a tree

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood – Rev 22. 14

– those who’s robes are washed – have the right to the tree – city or paradise of God. Outside are those unwashed

Genesis and Revelations together tree of life is the life of God – have when connected – lose when disconnected – sin cuts us off Christ rejoins us – ‘I am the vine, you are the branches – abide in me and I’ll abide in you’ – He sees himself as he tree of life – ‘l am the resurrection and the life’ – stood resurrected – first fruit

Holy Spirit – God’s life in us – before saved a dry sponge – dampen to soften – then baptize – filled – me converted them tingly power rooted me – Life of God – plugged into vine -joined to Tree of Life – life of Christ – its real

On Friday I looked at a Christmas tree all lit up and felt love for it – saw it as Christ – coloured lights as the various fruits – I saw it as the tree lost in Genesis and gained in Revelations – why throw out a powerful symbol – can be used

Next year we’ll make Christmas T Shirts that say ‘Christ the Tree of Life’

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