The Fragrance and Stature
“As for the living bird, he shall take it,
and the cedar wood,
and the scarlet, and the hyssop,
and shall dip them and the living bird
in the blood of the bird that was killed
over the running water”
The cedar wood in the scriptures speaks of stature, character and the fragrance of a life in Christ. In the description presented in the Law of the Leper the cedar-wood is immersed in the blood-water of the dead bird. This is a picture of all who are being transformed by the blood-water provision of Christ within our hearts. The blood of Christ speaking of the forgiveness of the sinner and the running water presenting to us the continual cleansing of the Living Word of God (Ephesians 5:26). These two perpetual ministrations of Christ enable us t0 walk and grow in the healing power of His resurrection.
The cedar wood presented here is in type of a fragrant stature that is to arise out of the ministration of the blood and water. This same Christ came by water and blood and it is in our following of Him in the regeneration of our whole being whereby we are made alive by the wonder of His life.
“This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ;
not by water only, but by water and blood”
1 John 5:6
It is in us being forgiven and cleansed from our leprous condition that the new man will arise and begin to grow into the likeness of the second Adam. The Cedar Wood is immersed into the blood-water communicating to us of a stature and a character which is the effect of the Spirit of God in our hearts. It is not of works, teachings or self-effort by which this new life is revealed. The immersion of the cedar wood speaks to us of something far more than just a random or casual walk with God; it speaks to us of a full yielding of our life unto Him alone who can heal, restore and cause us to walk in resurrection life! Water Baptism is but a sign of this full committal of our life to Him.
True Character is the result of a new nature and that new nature can only be known through the medium of a new birth.
The cedar-wood not only speaks of stature and character but also of a life that is fragrant and impervious to rot and decay. It is a life resilient to the decaying forces of the world and maintains its fragrance in all circumstances. This is not the product of self-effort; it is the sweet odor sent forth from the cedar because that is its nature. It is essential for us to understand that only by virtue of the new birth are men capable of being partakers of the divine nature! As we believe and live within the promises of God, by faith, there springs a Nature which enables us to live beyond the resources of our miserable selves. The dregs of that old Adamic life must give way to the fountain of His life flowing through our own. This fragrance and immunity to the decay of this world is dependent upon the life of the Son becoming our source. Only as we live as a branch drawing in and abiding in the life of the vine will the fruit of the Spirit abound in us.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing”
Spiritual fruit within the life of any one in Christ is the result of relationship not teaching. It is as we obey His voice within our own hearts that the fruit of the Spirit is formed. Those who do not obey cannot abide within the wonder of the flow of His life. In the parable above (John 15:2) the branches reveal their abiding in Him by bearing fruit! If there is no fruit, there is no live connection to the vine. Men who hold to religious teachings and doctrines may have an appearance of a branch but the vitality of the life of the vine no longer flows. Fruit is the unconscious expression of the nature of a thing.
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”
We are not to know men by their words but by their fruits. The fragrance of the cedar is unmistakable.
“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness,
which are by Jesus Christ,
unto the glory and praise of God”
Amazingly the fragrance of the cedar lingers long after it is dead for it is an expression of God’s eternal nature. Men and women who have lived and walked in the power of an abiding relationship continue to minister the things of God long after they have passed on from this world.
“A good man leaveth an inheritance
to his children’s children”
“By faith Abel offered unto God
a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,
God testifying of his gifts:
and by it he being dead yet speaketh”