In Revelation, John beholds the tree of life, which bears twelve kinds of fruit and whose leaves “are for the healing of the nations.” The tree is personified in this hymn text as Jesus Christ himself, whose passion, death, and resurrection offer “healing, strength, and pardon” to all peoples and nations. Péceselyi’s poem is also a confession of our sin and an assurance of our pardon, as we commend ourselves to God using the very words of Christ, who on the cross commended himself to the Father.
Sing! A New Creation
Inspired by a Hungarian Good Friday poem on the tree image in Scripture, Erik Routley’s text personifies the tree of life in Revelation 22:2 as Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection, offer “healing, strength, and pardon” to all peoples.
The Catechism says that those who know Christ’s forgiveness are “to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). As a result, “With our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us, and that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86).