I love to garden; it is the time of year to move my seedlings from the indoor growing area to the garden. These tender plants will require some hardening before I set them into the unprotected garden environment. At first glance, the fragility of seedlings would not inspire thoughts of Christ, but Isaiah's prophesy portrays Jesus as 'like a tender plant' and a 'root out of dry ground.' Our journey this morning is to explore the reality and beauty of Isaiah’s words.
Unlike my seedlings, Jesus needed no hardening or well-prepared garden soil--that is the great beauty we will explore. Barren, hard ground is not a barrier to Jesus; His tender love of humanity is not frailty. J. Vernon McGee offers a wonderful insight with these words, "The loveliest flower of humanity came from the driest spot and period of the world's history." God did not 'plant' Christ in the midst of luxury and prosperity. He did not need to do that for His love and His power were sufficient...are sufficient...to fulfill His purposes.
Nothing created in this world can measure up to the tender fortitude of Christ. Tender green plants are doomed to death in a barren desert; eternal souls in a sin-scarred world are the same. In this world, there is much that masquerades as life but the reality is that without Jesus, there is no life—there is only barren ground. Just as Isaiah prophesied, Jesus is the tender shoot which can spring up in the dry ground of our lives. We need never despair at the soil we see—in ourselves or others—for He is able to transform even a desert into a bountiful vineyard. The presence of Christ brings the certain hope of a harvest. Share Him. His seed will produce in miraculous ways!