He learned to work with his hands by watching the work of his father’s hands.
Learning a trade from a father was essential. A tradition of following in a father’s footsteps. And so this young man obeys.
In the humble beginning of his apprenticeship, he is learning to carve out the design of the wood, to slide his hands across the wood and feel the grain, and to carry stacks of wood.
Still young and learning his trade, he needs the direction of his father’s callused hands to guide his unskilled hands, which now need a little rest
Stepping away from the carpenter’s bench, he walks outside the shop to take a break from his work and stretch his back.
Standing in the warm, noon sun, he picks at another of the daily splinters in his hands, as the rhythm of the hammer pounds in the background. Extending his arms toward the sky, he says a prayer of thanksgiving to his other Father.
He breathes in fresh air to rid his nostrils of sawdust. First shaking his head to dislodge more sawdust tangled in his hair, he then removes his sandals and shakes out the wood shavings.
As the sun’s warmth soothes his aching muscles, he wonders when he first loved the savory aroma of wood. From the stories his father has told him, he decides the first whiffs seeped into his memory from the wooden trough at his birth.
When that dreadful day of agony came, did it revive all those scented memories of His childhood? All harbingers of torment upon a wooden cross. *
This was the young Jesus. Working for His father. Working side-by-side with Joseph, He gained the knowledge of the carpentry work as His father taught and guided Him.
What did He learn? To sand down rough edges. To chisel away unwanted parts. To submit to the father’s instructions, being attentive to his voice. To mimic his every move. To take raw material and shape it into something beautiful or useful. To tackle even the menial task of sweeping out the remnants of the shavings and sawdust. **
What did those harbingers herald?
* Stepping aside from His carpenter’s life meant stepping into His glorified life.
* The sawdust that clung to His hair now exchanged for a crown of thorns encircling His head.
* Stretching His sore back could never compare to the excruciating pain from the flesh-revealing stripes received from a scourging.
* The removing of His sandals to rid them of sawdust; now removing them reveals His feet for nine inch nails.
* The wood He once carried on His shoulders was exchanged for a cross-beam along the Via Dolorosa.
* His hands, once suffering splinters from sliding them across the grain of the wood, now feeling the pain of puncture from the shards of the wooden cross-beam.
* The hammer that pounded in the background now pounds in rhythmic timbre upon the nail heads, piercing His hands.
* The memory-scent of the wood, embedded in His nostrils, infuses His soul as the punctured wood releases that familiar fragrance.
* The fresh air He so easily breathed in, now barely makes it into His nostrils as He struggles to breathe.
* His muscles that ached from work now throb from the pain of crucifixion, which no soothing sun can ever relieve.
* His arms extended once again…in prayer to His Father.
Following His heavenly Father’s guidance, this young Man obeyed…unto death.
And the scent of the wood was released from obedience. A sweet aroma to the Father. *
May the scent of the cross forever stir you to obedience…Lynn