There was a plaque hanging on the wall at my grandparents home that told the legend of the dogwood tree. I remember walking by a seeing the picture of the dogwood blossoms and when I was very young, my granddad would pick me up and read me this poem:
In Jesus' time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
'Twas strong and firm, its branches interwoven.
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
"Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so.
Slender and twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown,
The blossom's center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember Me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected, this tree shall be
A reminder to all of My agony."
The dogwoods are blooming at our home and every time I see a dogwood blossom I am reminded of two things: First, I am reminder of my grandparents. They had an abundance of dogwood trees in their yard. I am reminded of the plaque that hung in their home and the many times I would ask my grandparents to read me the plaque. Even though I knew what it said and they had read it time and time again, my grandparents never minded hoisting me up just one more time to tell me the legend of the dogwood. My grandmother would tell me how special the dogwood tree is because it is the tree that Jesus was crucified on. The dogwood tree had a special duty and all the other trees were secretly envious of the dogwood because this was such a great responsibility as a tree.
The blossom is in the shape of a cross to remind us of the story of the crucifixion.
Each petal on the blossom bears an indention and a red mark to help us remember the nails that we forced into Christ's hands and feet.
The center of the blossom reminds us of the crown of thorns that was forced on His head.
I do hope that when you see a dogwood blossom that you will thank God for sending His only Son to endure a tormenting and humiliating death upon a cross. And thank Jesus Christ for the tremendous sacrifice He made for you and for me.
Sunday is coming.