Autumn leaves are shocking. Trees that are RED or YELLOW or BOTH? This is crazy. The sky is blue and trees are green…at least they have been my whole life. Now here I am in my first year as a northerner and I can tell you I have been completely and utterly in awe of all of the beautiful fall colors.
I have spent lots of time taking “nature walks” and taking as many photos as I can to try and capture these unbelievably vivid leaves. And I started thinking about WHY leaves change colors ( I’m sure I knew this at some point in elementary school but I did not really remember). The science of this is a whole other very cool story in and of itself but the summary is that the trees KNOW winter is coming and they KNOW it is time for the leaves to die. So they start storing up their nutrients which in turn means the leaves change color without those nutrients. And I kept looking at all these trees saying
“How can something that is dying be so beautiful?”
And then this occurred to me:
Is that an incredible parallel or what?! Oh that we would see the death of Christ as beautiful as we see the autumn leaves.
So then this whole stream of thoughts came to my mind...All the leaves have begun to fall off the trees. I look around now and see empty trees and bare branches and find myself kinda sad about it.
Empty trees....like the empty cross.
"who Himself bore our sins in his body on the tree" -1Peter 2:24
This makes the empty trees not so sad! In fact, what a great reminder of the cross right?
So then the barren trees usher in winter, a season of cold hibernation with no signs of life. Winter that is gray and dreary and in a snapshot view some might very well say “hopeless”. I imagine this is somewhat how the disciples felt to see their Lord “dead” and “buried” in a tomb.
But after winter comes spring…and new life! "But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”-1Cor 15:20
I don't know about you but I find this correlation to be incredible. What an amazing and beautiful picture God has given us of the story of grace and how sweet that we have reminders all around us! I've always associated Spring with the resurrection...but connecting autumn and winter to his death just really makes the picture complete for me.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven...He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Eccl. 3:1,11)