Apply The Tree
". . . the Lord showed him a tree; . . . " Exodus 15:25
When Moses places the tree into the water it causes the condition of the water to change. As the tree is applied, the character of the bitter water is transformed. This picture guides us in a way of understanding the cross.
What happened to Christ, also happened to us; when he died, we were put to death with Him. It's hard to explain to one who has not shared in the experience.
The ancient Jews believed that one person could stand in for another so completely that what happened to that person actually happened to them too. His experience was our experience.
A mother can love a child so much that when the child hurts, the mother hurts. A wife can love her husband so much that when he dies she can say, "something in me died with him." On a more shallow level, some people can be so involved with the athletes who represent them on the field that the defeat of victory is a bitter loss or triumphant gain for them also. Being affected by something outside of ourselves is meant to be a biblical experience, one of complete identity with Jesus.
Applying the tree means, that I am to be so closely connected with Him that when I hear about His dying, I die too. My old self is crucified with Him. I experience His new and genuine life and all that He is, and I receive that in His presence. It's not just something that happened to Him that should've happened to me, but something that happened to me too.
When the tree is applied to me I become a new me. The way of the tree is not the way of escape so that we can keep on the way we are, it's the death of what we are. For only as our old selves come in contact with the newness of the tree, can we hope for a new life.
Where does the tree need to be applied to your life? The finished work of the cross is enough to change any area of life.