Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

Read: Genesis 3:22-24

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! (Ps. 34:8)

”You have made us for yourself,” prayed St. Augustine famously, “and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” This truth is expressed with incomparable beauty in the carol “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree.”

This folk hymn compares Jesus to the tree of life from the Garden of Eden. The tree of life my soul hath seen, / Laden with fruit, and always green, / The trees of nature fruitless be / Compared with Christ the apple tree.

When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit—traditionally, an apple—God pronounced a curse upon them. Their lives would be painful and hard, and they would die and return to the dust. Then God banished them from the garden, posting an angel at the entrance to prevent them from returning and eating from the tree of life. This seems cruel but was actually merciful. If humankind found a way to live forever in its fallen state, that wouldn’t be heaven; it would be hell. God had a different plan. He would provide another apple tree, Jesus, who would redeem the lost race and be the source of eternal life.

The children of Adam and Eve still wander the world, looking for whatever can satisfy their hunger for life and longing for happiness. How wonderful to learn that Jesus can, and does. For happiness I long have sought, / And pleasure I have dearly bought; / I missed of all but now I see / ‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

As you pray, rest in God today.

Listen along: Jesus Christ the Apple Tree – Ensemble Altera

About the Author

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.

This entry is part 7 of 25 in the series Carols and Lessons