Getting To Know God
Jehovah Tsidkenu - The Branch To Perfection
The LORD Our Righteousness - The Branch - The Root Of David - The Impeccable Righteousness Of God
The Root Of Goodness
The work that God did in creation is amazing on a number of different levels. Not only did God create everything out of nothing by the power of His Word, but even within the elements of His creation, He formed some pretty awesome teaching lessons and Biblical concepts pertaining to salvation. One of those such instances is with root vegetables. The Bible uses the concept of a “root” to describe Jesus as the Messiah of Israel. The reason that the Bible uses this concept is because we all know how roots work. They are the source by which the rest of the vegetation is nourished. Without the roots, there is no nourishment for the vegetation, and the vegetation ceases to exist. Yet, in some cases, the root structure of the vegetation is nourishing to us as well, in the same manner that Jesus is nourishing. He’s not just nourishing to the structure of the Gospel, but of Himself, is perfectly good to nourish. His perfection is such that He is able to spiritually nourish as the Root, as the Branch, and even as the fruit of His own goodness. To communicate this awesome thing pertaining to Jesus, we thought it was fitting to show an assortment of root vegetables that are nourishing to the human body. Can you call them all out?
He Is Coming!
One of the most challenging aspects of God’s righteousness, is the truth of His coming judgment. God’s righteousness is perfectly good because He is the only One qualified and able to judge wickedness while preserving that which He declares “good.” In fact, the Bible plainly teaches that God’s perfect goodness will not come until His judgments are executed. God’s goodness and righteousness come as a direct result of His judgments. According to the scriptures, God’s judgment is inevitable, AND it’s near! Jesus is coming as Jehovah Tsidkenu to judge the world of evil soon; and when He does, it’s going to get hot! To communicate this truth, we liked the idea of a fire to symbolize the severity of Jesus’ judgments, but since He’s not judging yet, we wanted to imply a fire that is on the horizon. So, we have a fire being started the old school way. Here you see, “the Branch” is in position, heating up by the friction on the surface so that things are getting smoky. When we see that smoke, the breath of the Firestarter will cause a spark, and then… the flame! We see the smoke, which means that “the Branch” is getting hot. The flame is coming soon…
The Man Named BRANCH
The testimony of Zechariah 6:12 states that Jesus, referred to as “the Man whose name is the BRANCH,” will “branch out” in order to build His own temple, thereby fulfilling the promise of the Father to dwell with His people. When hiking in a local nature preserve, we found this tree that was so oddly shaped – like something you’d see in a Halloween movie that comes to life. When you approached this tree, it looked like it was reaching out for you! The branches looked like live tentacles that had mobility and purpose. It looked like a literal manifestation of the things written in Zechariah 6:12. If the LORD were to use an actual tree to build a temple, He would use a tree like this one. The time of day made it so that the sun was set perfectly behind the tree, casting compelling highlights on parts of it, while other parts were hidden in shadows, making it look like the branches were coming out of darkness to reach out and bring someone into the light of the sun. We thought it was a pretty fitting illustration of Jesus’ work as the Messiah. He, as the Branch, came out of the darkness of the grave in order to pay the penalty of sin according to His perfect righteousness. As a result, He’s able to graft us into Himself as Light according to faith in this testimony. So here, we have Uriah standing in front of this tree with his eyes closed, looking up in anticipation, submitting himself to the Branch that will bring him into the light according to faith.
How You Can Be New
The Bible often shows that “the new man,” or “new creation” is pictured by a white robe of righteousness that Jesus distributes out according to His own righteousness. However, as believers, we aren’t really “made” righteous just yet. We won’t be until we’re in the presence of the LORD. While we live this life, we’re “declared” righteous by the Father, on account of faith in the testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That declaration is sufficient to please the Father until we are actually conformed into the likeness of His perfection in eternal life. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t walk according to the likeness of Jesus’ righteousness now. Jesus left us the Holy Spirit, thereby equipping us to “walk in the Spirit.” The concept of “walking” is another common analogy in the Bible. It describes proper Christian conduct in which we as believers live in the manner of Jesus Christ, in spite of our depraved nature, by the power of His Spirit.
This is what it means to “put on the new man.” We, of ourselves cannot be righteous, but if we “walk in the Spirit,” the LORD will manifest His own righteousness through us. This had us thinking about shoes. If we got the right shoes, that aren’t quite the white robes we’ll get in eternity, but are equally as pure to enable us like the LORD, then we can bring glory to our Savior, living in the likeness of His righteousness. So here, we have someone being fitted for some new white kicks! Those old trashy shoes that resemble the flesh are done away with in the back of the scene. The shoe cleaner is knocked over because those old shoes can’t be cleaned. They got holes and just aren’t any good – a good picture of our flesh. Instead of trying to make those old shoes look good with cleaner that won’t do any real good, we get fitted for new shoes that enable us to look right, in the manner of the One who saved us from hell.
Faithful To Judge Rightly
Jesus’ coming judgment isn’t a joke. He’s judged the world once before, with the global flood during the days of Noah. The physical evidence of this flood all over the world makes the severity of God’s judgment pretty compelling! Yet, the Bible plainly teaches that the judgment that’s coming soon, will be FAR worse! Jesus will come again to judge the world in order to fully purge it of sin according to His own perfect righteousness. Though Jesus came the first time in order to judge sin itself, when He comes back, He’s coming to wage war against sinners! If Jesus was able to utterly destroy and embarrass Death by His resurrection when He first came, how miserable and pitiful will the victims of His judgment look when He comes in wrath, ready to make war. Since there really isn’t an image that does this truth justice, we thought that the white horse Jesus will ride was compelling.
When the Apostle John saw a vision of our future and the coming judgment, he saw a white horse that was prepared for battle. He saw the King of kings and Lord of lords sitting on it. The One True Just Judge and Righteous God of heaven and earth was ready to make war. He’s called “Faithful” because He was ready to fulfill the promise of judgment, thereby enabling the distribution of blessings for those called to be His servants. He is called “True” because these things WILL come to pass. Since we can’t illustrate the readiness of Jesus to perform this judgment, we thought the readiness of His horse was compelling also. In this photo this white horse is looking dead at us, ready to be removed from the stable, and then, fulfill his purpose. The horse has been sitting in this dark corner for long enough. Now, he’s ready to come out into the light in order to do the job he was created to do – escort the LORD God Almighty, Jehovah Tsidkenu, into this world to purge sin and darkness from it.