“The Amen of nature is always a flower” is the famous quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Being the fond lover of wild flowers, I have to agree. One of my favorite things each spring is looking forward to all the beautiful wild flowers that adorn the grounds of nature everywhere. Each flower, whether they are bright yellow, vibrant orange or a hue of purple color is saying AMEN, rejoicing in the Creator that made it!
This reminds me of my annual tradition of going to the Prayer Garden. It is the perfect time of year in which we celebrate Resurrection Sunday — commonly known as Easter.
This Prayer Garden has approximately 12 different stations of beautiful life-size clay carved visual rocks alongside gorgeous flowers and a lovely pathway. Each rock describes every step of the suffering of Christ and His glorious resurrection. It is represented in our calendars and reminds us of the Holy Week/Passion Week that to this day provokes a boisterous AMEN from people around the world. Just like the flowers, these are agreements of worship and praise from all who know the spectacular details of this event motivated by love.
It all began at the Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:38, where Jesus is praying in the garden before the long journey of persecution begins. He exclaims “My soul is crushed with horror and sadness to the point of death ... stay here ... stay awake with me.”
“After praying all night, the arrest happened early morning where the mob coming with swords and clubs to unarmed men, arrested Jesus and held Him for brutal questioning. Jesus is now a prisoner he is led before the judges.” — Mark 14:46, 50, 55
“After His capture, Jesus was on trial. Harsh words, insults and false accusations are all openly used as ridicule against Him as they were heaped upon Him. But, instead of retaliating, He is completely silent, yet saying nothing to His accusers but like a docile lamb led to slaughter, He was silent and did not say a word.” —Matthew 27:12
This part, where Jesus was the suffering servant is what reminded me of the correlation of the flowers saying Amen and the prayer garden. When I came to this station, where Jesus is at the whipping post, it was the most horrific sight of all, an innocent holy man, was beaten falsely. Very visual and very sad, yet there was a wonderful sweet fragrance of the flowers planted nearby this large engraved rock of grief. A bird joined in with the flowers saying AMEN. He musically declared His AMEN celebration with his built in birdie trumpet and began to chirp the most eloquent melodies perched on a rock.
Now if any of you have studied the Roman culture or seen the movie A Passion of the Christ, you would know that the cruelty and punishment under that governmental system was severely brutal to say the least. Even Isaiah the greatest prophet ever said that Jesus’ body was unrecognizable. (Isaiah 52:14, 53:3-6)
Yet His willingness to subject Himself to such horror is incredibly sweet, so precious and so powerful, that it humbles me. Even though it may have been one of the most difficult times for Jesus, it is the most sweet for me in which I join in with those flowers and that bird in saying AMEN!
You have heard it said that when someone steps on a rose, they can focus on the thorns or take great pleasure in the fragrance of the crushed rose petals. And this Rose of Sharon, Jesus, is still leaving a wonderful fragrance of His love for all to smell.
So why in the world would Jesus, who was completely innocent, did nothing wrong EVER in His entire life on earth, who committed no sin, just yield to those beatings and hateful behavior towards Him? Why did Jesus not fight back and defend himself when He was so horribly treated? Why did he willfully go to the cross just like a docile lamb led to slaughter?
Some of the people who surrounded Him wondered the same thing.
I’m glad you asked. Jesus willingly smashed His body against that cross for the sole purpose of reconciling and redeeming human creation back to Himself. He did it out of pure love, mercy and grace for each one of us.
People wondered the same thing saying, “Save yourself, and come down from the cross.” — Mark 15:30. But Jesus already answered that question earlier with His accusers saying, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” — John 18:36
As Resurrection Sunday (Easter) fast approaches, would you take the time to meditate on Jesus and His wonderful gift to all humans, the gift of salvation? Then once you meditated on what He did on the cross, will you quickly and passionately accept Him as your Master, your God, by receiving Christ as your Lord and Savior? Then you will be rejoicing with a resounding AMEN!
© Copyright 2011 Simone Lake. All Rights Reserved
About the Author
Simone Lake is a pastor’s wife and full-time minister, serving in various areas. Her primary areas include Bible teacher and conference speaker (both in the U.S. and internationally). In addition, she writes devotional articles in several publications, is a short-term missionary, author, prayer leader, Bible mentor and chaplain. Find more information at simonelake.com ~ simonelake.blogspot.com ~facebook.com/SimoneLake.