Monday, April 18
Learning a trade from a father was essential. A tradition of following in a father’s footsteps. And so this young man obeys.
In the humble beginning of his apprenticeship, he is learning from his father to carve out the design of the wood, to press his hands against the wood and feel the grain, and to carry stacks of wood.
Still a young lad and learning his trade, he needs the direction of his father’s callused hands to guide his unskilled hands, which now need a little rest.
Stepping away from the carpenter’s bench, he walks outside the shop to take a break from his work and stretch his back.
Standing in the warm, noon sun, he picks at another of the daily splinters in his hands, as the rhythm of the hammer pounds in the background. Extending his arms toward the sky, he says a prayer of thanksgiving to God the Father.
He breathes in fresh air to rid his nostrils of sawdust. First shaking his head to dislodge more sawdust tangled in his hair, he then removes his sandals and shakes out the wood shavings.
As the sun’s warmth soothes his aching muscles, he wonders when he first loved the savory aroma of wood. From the stories his father has told him, he decides the first whiffs seeped into his memory from the wooden trough at his birth.
When would Jesus realize all these things were harbingers of agony upon a wooden cross?
Did that dreadful day of agony revive all those fragrant memories of His childhood? What did those harbingers herald?
* Stepping aside from His carpenter’s life means stepping into His glorified life.
* The sawdust that clung to His hair is now exchanged for a crown of thorns encircling His head.
* Stretching His sore back could never compare to the excruciating pain from the flesh-revealing stripes received from a scourge.
* The removing of His sandals rid them of sawdust; now removing them reveals His feet for torture.
* The wood He once carried strengthened Him to carry a cross-beam along the Via Dolorosa.
* His hands, once suffering splinters from pressing against the grain of the wood, now feeling pain as shards puncture them from bearing the weight of the wooden cross-beam.
* The hammer that pounded in the background now pounds in rhythmic timbre upon the nail heads, piercing His hands.
* The memory-scent of the wood, embedded in His nostrils, infuses His soul as the punctured wood releases that familiar fragrance.
* The fresh air He so easily breathed in now barely makes it into His nostrils as He struggles to breathe.
* His muscles that ached from work now throb from the pain of crucifixion, which no soothing sun can ever relieve.
* His arms extended once again...in prayer to His Father.
Following His heavenly Father’s guidance, this young Man obeyed...unto death.
The scent of the wood released from obedience.
A sweet aroma to the Father.