38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Our purposeful Creator filled creation with pictures of his redemptive plan. How personal God is that he writes us love letters in the flowers in our trees. There is a story there that will make the hardhearted weep and the wretched whole. A white blossom pierced and smeared with blood immortalizes the sufferings of Christ, but it appears only around Easter. Coincidence? I think not. How God pursues us as he gives us eye-catching flowers year after year to make us mindful of his completed work. We are courted by the Creator. We are truly a people without excuse.
So I love this legend...
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."
from "Sower's Seeds Aplenty: Fourth Planting," # 29, p. 22