As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Celtic Images

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Monday, January 22, 2007

The Three Trees

There is a special emphasis in the role of the Holy Trinity in our salvation in the theology of the cross. Christ is said to be seen by us in "The cedar, the pine and the cypress."

This is an allusion to the Isaiah 60:13: "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious." There is a tradition that three types of tree grew together in one spot. An Icon of the Orthodox Church celebrates this and has St Lot, the nephew of Abraham, watering the trees. It was from these trees (different translations refer to different types, but pine, cedar and cypress have the longest tradition) that the Cross of Christ was made.

The Cross of Calvary in the Orthodox Church, East and West, had three tiers or bars: The title where the charge against Christ was written by Pilate, the cross-bar to which Christ's hands were nailed and the (slanted) foot-rest. Some have commented that three types of wood referred to above were reflected in these different parts of the Cross.