Robert Frank, a Swiss immigrant to the United States of America, became a famous art photographer. He traveled through the country taking iconic pictures that made him “The Man Who Saw America”. Seeing life from a different angle is expressed in one of his famous quotes: “The eye should learn to listen before it looks.” In a similar fashion God is asking us today to open our eyes to see. The question: “Do you not see it?” challenges all people who feel stuck. All they can see is untamed wilderness, impassable obstacles, impossible living conditions, unsolvable problems. God speaks into their bewilderment by repeatedly asking: “Do you not see it?” In other words: “The solution is here, right in front of you. You’re too clogged up to even notice.”
There was a man named Jacob, one of the many descendants of Abraham. On one memorable day, following a spectacular God-moment, Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” which translated means “Strong Man of God”. This Strong Man of God also had many descendants. As fate would have it, his descendants got stuck in Egypt where they had been enslaved. When the time came to leave, the children of Israel migrated from Egypt to a piece of Real Estate located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. In order to arrive there they had to pass through treacherous desert terrain with their Egyptian slave-masters on their heels. The Egyptians were eventually finished off as they were beginning to close in on the children of Israel. They ran into the Red Sea – an impassable obstacle without a boat. But the Red Sea was momentarily held back by its Creator so that the children of Israel could pass through. When they arrived on the other side of the seashore, the Red Sea went back to its normal state drowning the persecuting Egyptians. On this day one can say that the nation of Israel was born. A pivotal point in the history of a nation and a great example of how God makes way in the desert removing impassable obstacles!
However, now the Lord says: “Forget the miracle at the Red Sea! This miracle is nothing compared to the miracle about to happen.” God is comparing one miracle with another here, and He basically says that the second miracle is greater than the first. Evidently, His people were so taken by the first miracle that they were not even expecting a greater one. Yet, in hindsight, we all know that the second miracle that was about to happen in Israel would become world-renowned: The birth of the Messiah! The birth of a nation versus the birth of the Messiah – we find that both are miraculous, but the second miracle is greater than the first because it concerns all people and has worldwide consequences.
Now in the aftermath of all these events still the question remains: Can you see it? Sometimes one can’t see the forest from the trees and after a 2000-year coverage of the Jesus-event there is a forest of information out there – but really only one piece of information needs to be zeroed in on: the one tree Jesus was nailed to. Looking at this one tree, Jesus’ death and resurrection pulls it all together, draws every human being from any nation to Him, because regardless of who we are and where we are from, we all seek our way through the wilderness of life, and in the end, we all die. The good news is that Jesus has passed through the impassable, and conquered the impossible: which is death. That would be a pivotal point in the history of mankind! The tree Jesus was nailed to stands for victory over death and offers the fruit of the Tree of Life to you and me: Life Eternal.