Both Peter and Paul referred to the cross as the tree. Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Gal 3:13; 1 Pet 2:24.
The Israelites came to the bitter waters of Marah and they could not drink it. They asked Moses, "What shall we drink?" Ex 15:23-25.
God then revealed to Moses a tree and, when Moses cast this tree into the waters, the bitterness became sweet.
This symbolizes a great truth: when we bring the mindset of the cross (Philippians 2:5) into our bitter situation, the bitterness will become sweet. This is what it means "to drink the cup." Can you drink the cup of bitterness? John 18:11; Matt 10:38.
What do I mean by "bring the mindset of the cross into . . . ?" It's another way of saying "embrace the cross" when these moments or seasons of despair arise in life. We are able to bring the cross online because we come to realize that it is thru suffering that God makes us stronger in faith and increases spiritual growth. We don't grow thru the good things that happen to us. We grow thru things that hurt, make us weak and bring us to the end of self; when bad things happen to good people.
When we understand this tree principle we are able to accept the adversities of life and even come to embrace them as beneficial. When we embrace them we are casting the tree into the bitter water and tasting real and lasting sweetness. This is why Paul thanked God and took pleasure in his infirmities. When circumstances made him weak, then he could become strong. 2 Cor 12:9-10.
This is the mysterious power of the cross!
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