When preparing ourselves for worship and thanksgiving in the remembrance of our Lord's death, the Old Testament can provide many wonderful pictures, types, and links that can enhance our appreciation of Him and His Work. Below is a simple study of the first three references to 'wood' in our english Bible and how these stories enhance our appreciation concerning our Lord's 'cross' death.
The first reference to 'wood' in our Bible is the story of Noah. It is actually God Himself that brings us the first explicit reference when He told Noah to build an ark of gopher 'wood', which would be for the saving of Noah's family and the animals that inhabited the land. When the terrible storm occurred for those 40 days, Noah's trust was not in the wood or his workmanship but rather in the God that commanded him to make the provision that was made. In the same way, there is nothing holy about the wooden cross that our Lord Jesus was given to carry the day of His death. However, the 'Power of the Cross' as referenced by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians is actually a reference to the one behind the cross; our Lord Jesus Christ. As referenced in the gospel accounts, men desired to kill our Lord Jesus but in Mark's gospel, we are told that they did not want to do it on the Jewish Festival of Passover. However, God's plan was that His Son would lay down His life and to show that God was ultimately in control, the Lord did die on a wooden cross and was buried on that very day.
The second reference to 'wood' in our Bible is made by a young son on his way to an important sacrifice in the land of Mount Moriah (modern day Jerusalem). The young man was obeying his father while he carried the wood on his back. This wood was to be used as part of the base for the altar in the offering of the sacrifice. That day, his father prophetically uttered, "God will provided Himself a Lamb". What a beautiful picture this story is to the promised Son that carried the wooden cross on His back in the same land as Isaac did so long before. The greatest difference that day was that this Son was God Himself and on this day, He had come, as man, to take away our sins by the sacrifice of Himself.
The third reference to wood in our Bible is seen in the beginning of God's great deliverance of Israel as slaves in Egypt. God instructed Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out their rod over the waters of Egypt. In this first great demonstration of God's delivering power, we read that all of the streams, rivers, and water in vessels of 'wood' and stone were turned to blood. It is not known to us whether these wooden vessels were ever used again when the blood was turned back to water. If they were, then the blood stains on the wood would always act as a reminder to the Jewish people of God's power to delivering them from slavery. So the cross of Christ is a forever reminder to us of God's power to deliver us from the slavery of sin, which results in death and destruction.
May this simple connection between the first three references of 'wood' in our Bible and its link to the 'cross' death of Christ challenge us to search our scriptures each week to find the unlimited treasures of Him that exist in our Bible. Hidden treasures that can focus our minds and our hearts on the sweet remembrance of His death, both in our private meditation and collectively at the Lord's Supper.