Updated date:

Passover and the Mangrove Tree

Author:

Tamarajo is an avid Bible Studier who loves nothing more than to seek out the treasures in God's Word and share them with others.

Holocaust Memorial Miami Florida

Holocaust Memorial Miami Florida

Introduction

I began reading the book Love in a World of Sorrow A Teenage Girl's Holocaust Memoirs by Fanya Gottesfeld Heller on the plane en route to the Florida Keys for a vacation. It was so engaging that I finished it the next day.

I have read many testimonies of survivors who endured the cruelty and hatred of the holocaust and am always amazed at the resiliency of these people. Not that they came through the experience unscathed by any means, but their tragedies didn't seem to define their futures for success. They are truly remarkable people who have overcome the worst of human adversities with grace and dignity despite the attempts of many to rob them of these very virtues. They genuinely are a testimony of God's sovereignty in this respect. These people who could have blamed God for all that they suffered continued to revere Him, which I believe is the secret to their miraculous survival.

A Passover Seder meal

A Passover Seder meal

A Vacation Revelation

My Passover connection began when I was at the local Winn Dixie grocery store in Key Largo. As I was shopping, I stumbled upon a cardboard display containing literature detailing the Passover celebration readings and activities. I made note that this very week we were vacationing was Passover week.

I took one of the booklets back to the Marina to read. I was so amazingly impressed by the focus of recitations, songs, and general worship, acknowledging God’s greatness, goodness, and sovereignty. I have become so used to our cultural form of worship that centers around what He does for us and how He makes us feel that it stood out to me. We worship God sometimes as if it were all about us. The Jewish people seem to know that if God never did a thing for us ever again, He is still worthy to be praised.

The Dayenu in Hebrew

The Dayenu in Hebrew

The Dayenu

One example of this loyal form of worship is expressed in a song sung during the Passover observance called "The Dayenu." It recites the many things that God has done for them, and if He hadn't, they sing, it would have been sufficient or enough.

We seem to worship God at times to the extent we believe He will benefit us. We tend to determine and measure God's goodness by the yardstick of our personal circumstances. According to the Jewish people. God is good! Not that they didn't have questions or despair at times, but they maintained their faith and practice of it. I so admire their loyal attitudes and appreciation that indeed God owes us nothing, and anything he might choose to bestow upon us, for good, is a bonus and a blessing.

Passover is one of the most widely observed holidays of the Jewish People and is considered the first, foundational, and significant feast. If we view this in light of This Holidays symbol of Christ, our Passover lamb's death on the cross to secure our deliverance from sin and Satan, we can see how significant and foundational it truly is.

passover-as-seen-in-the-mangrove-tree

Christ Our Passover

“For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”

— 1 Corinthians 5:7

For no foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ.”

— I Corinthians 3:11

The next thing I notice about the Passover observance is how many repetitions and recitations there are. It is all about remembering. It reminds me of Jesus's command.

Do this in remembrance of me . . .

— Luke 22:19

How could we forget or become apathetic to such a great salvation we have been given.

“How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.

— Hebrews 2:3

Mangrove trees bordering a tidal estuary in Everglades National Park

Mangrove trees bordering a tidal estuary in Everglades National Park

The Mangroves Sacrificial Leaf

While touring the Keys, we were introduced to the native trees of south Florida called the Mangroves. My husband went on a snorkeling adventure and learned about a unique feature of this tree that illustrates a Passover theme.

One unique feature of the Mangroves is that they are the only trees that live in saltwater. These bush-like trees make fresh water from saltwater by depositing the salt, which it intakes into what is known as "sacrificial" leaves. These sacrificial leaves are particular leaves on the tree that will absorb the salt, die, and then fall off the tree so the other leaves can live. What a spectacular picture of what Christ has done for us as the sacrificial lamb of God. If we think of the salt as sin and how without the sacrificial leaf, the whole plant dies. So it is with us. Christ took on the sin of the world and became our sacrificial leaf.

. . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

— I Peter 2:24

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

— John 1:29

root system of the Mangrove

root system of the Mangrove

The Mangrove's Root System

Another spiritual lesson from this tree is that it drops its roots to the ocean floor and takes hold of the bedrock underneath, and these roots become anchors. The fact that Christ died for us and became our sacrificial leaf should cause us to drop down our roots and grab hold of the bedrock of this revelation of forgiveness of sin through the sacrifice of God's one and only Son, and anchor our souls.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.

— Hebrews 6:19

The Mangrove is also known as "The Walking Tree" because the roots are observable above the surface and appear to be standing or walking.

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.

— Colossians 2:6

According to NtheFloridaKeys.com

"As the roots get thicker they begin to trap sand , sediment, rocks and shells. This builds up thick layers of land and becomes elevated from the surrounding sea bottom. This process allows one mangrove to grow into an island and it allows for existing islands to grow larger." (1)

. . . rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

— Colossians 2:7

These robust root systems become a habitat for marine life and provide necessary food and nutrients. Most fish that are caught in the area had spent time in the Mangroves' protected environmental root system. I saw this as a picture of what the church is supposed to be.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

— Ephesians 2:19-21

Painting the Blood

Painting the Blood

He Turns Our Lives Into Something Purposeful and Meaningful

Because we have been brought near by His sacrificial blood

. . . now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

— Ephesians 2:13

This tree gives us another "useful" picture in that every part of the tree is useful.

"Fruits from the red mangrove are edible. Leaves have been used to make tea, as a medicine and feed for livestock. Wood from the red mangrove is strong and water resistant. It’s been used to make boats, furniture, pilings, and houses. The black’s flower produces nectar. Bee keepers like to place their hives near these to produce a great tasting honey. The bark was used for tannin and dyes. Charcoal was made from the dense wood of the black mangrove and the buttonwood. They’ve also been used as a safe place to tie up a boat during a hurricane or storm."

— NtheFloridaKeys.com

Christ came that we might have His life and live it abundantly and usefully. A life without Christ and His life-giving purpose is a wasted life. His sacrifice paved the way for the plans and purposes that God had for us before time began to give us function in the body as individuals for the greater good of the whole body.

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them . . .

Romans 12:4-6

I am always so in awe how what God has created always testifies of Him and His ways so specifically and so clearly.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse . . .

— Romans 1:20

There are many more aspects to the Passover observance that speak to the details of Christ's death, resurrection, and what that all means. I have included a video done by Jews for Jesus that touches on these very things.1

Jews for Jesus shows us Christ in the Passover

1http://www.n-the-florida-keys.com/mangrove.html

Comments

Tamarajo (author) on March 26, 2019:

Hello Pamela,

Good to learn that you observe Passover. His appointed times and all of His creation have so much to teach us about such a great Salvation.

The mangroves do create a peaceful environment.

I appreciate your visit and comment.

God bless the remainder of your holiday.

Pamela on March 26, 2019:

Hello from Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean West Indies ~ my husband and I are Christians, and Canadians here for the first time on a lovely holiday. Yesterday we paddled through the mangroves on a kayak and were very inspired by their peace and beauty. We also celebrate Passover every year. I love your devotional here.

Tamarajo (author) on August 20, 2012:

Hi Rolly, Glad you enjoyed the article. I would love to attend a Passover. I am sure your experience was quite a blessing.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

Blessings from Minnesota.

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on August 20, 2012:

Hi Tamarajo... what a great article... I was once invited to a traditional Passover meal and what a blessing it was to attend... Great hub and very enlightening.

Hugs from Canada

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on June 29, 2012:

I have to. With the dyslexia and the attention/distraction thing about me, I would never get any reading done. Another reason it takes me a long time to comment on a sister's hubs. : )

Tamarajo (author) on June 29, 2012:

I like the listening and reading along idea. might borrow that one.

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on June 29, 2012:

Just so you know - you aren't that far off from the requirement for the college I went to. There were 8 month, 4 month, 2 month, and 1 month choices for those who attended. The reading was manitory to get the credit for the courses. Each semester all you would do was read and state you read at that pace to get the credit for it. I chose the 4 month once I saw that 10 chapters were all it took to go through it. I couldn't imagine doing it the way my dad did (and one or two others), in only one month. What I do is turn on the recorded Bible and follow as the guy reads it to me. It keeps it moving and at a pace I can follow. I may pause it a moment or two, here and there. A year is a good time period. That is why you are as knowledgeable as you are and why you are used so mightily of the Lord. Be blessed my sister

Tamarajo (author) on June 29, 2012:

Hello again Bob I agree that both a telescopic and microscopic view are necessary to get the well rounded view of the scriptures. I really liked your example of only reading certain lines of a play and not getting the correct view of what the whole play is about. My goal has typically been to read it through within a year.

I am shocked and surprised too at how many Christians including pastors have never read the whole Bible from front to back which makes the same point of why the church is in the current state it is in being without much power and influence and largely ineffective presently.

Wonder if this is where we are at...

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,

“when I will send a famine through the land—

not a famine of food or a thirst for water,

but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. ~ Amos 8:11

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on June 29, 2012:

Actually Tam, If you read 10 chapters a day that is all it takes. But you have to know that this reading is a different reading than you do when you meditate or when you study. This is an overview which brings about a different kind of blessing. Firstly, the Bible is not really 66 books but is one volume written by the Holy Spirit using the 44 different authors. There is a scarlet thread that is woven throughout that you miss if you don't read cover to cover. It would be like taking lines 12, 16, 56, 78 of a Shakespear play and studying them over and over without reading the entire play. Perhaps with the right amount of highlights from the play you know what the story is about and know the "best parts" but you miss the nuances and sweep of the story, its cultural flavor and so on. It is the same with Scripture. If you read it like one Book you get the themes, the sweep of the timeline, the cultures and peoples development, the consistency of Scripture. The power of the Spirit in the happenings of History. Without the overview you miss many small things too, that God makes to pop on each time through. It is amazing the new things learned. I make sure I have a pen and paper. I may make a few notes for later. I do not stop and go back until after the reading. But when I go back to that note the question I have has been answered, the power I noticed is even more impressive. My father in the Lord told me to do this and it was required in Bible college. The value of this is immeasureable. I have learned that the treasure house that is contained between those two covers contains so much more than what most people ever know. The vast majority of pastors have never read the Bible from cover to cover. Only a handful read for an overview. Most argue against it saying it is not how a person studies. Some say it dishonors the Scripture and treats it like regular literature. I am not reading it like literature. I am a surveyor that scans the horizon for landmarks that I may have missed. Many times the Holy Spirit lets me see that "landmark" in a whole new way. Almost always He give me answers to things I have needed my whole life and with each read through my life has changed for the better in ways I never would have imagined. I'm sorry but I know that anyone that reads this comment may already be formulating some "good" reason why a person should not do such a thing and I wanted to get a few good points that I have learned by doing it. I would say in my church is more people doing it than in the vast majority of churches and I dare say if there is 10 people in my church i would be surprised. I carry on because I promised my dad I would and now it is more than just that promise to a man that I respect, it is now essential to my staying grounded in the word.

I admire the Jewish folks that do so many things because of a very welllthought out tradition that when followed is what the Bible has said to do. The more folks that get it through their heads that Christians are a branch grafted into God's people, the more folks that will realize that to know Old Testament is to know the New. Nice talking to you again, Tam. Love ya.

Tamarajo (author) on June 29, 2012:

Agreed Bob that reading the Old is just as relevant as the New. At times I wonder if the New is understood as well without the understanding of the Old. I'm not sure if I could get through it in 4 months though that is pretty good : )

The culture of the nation (world) is to be expected I suppose but the church itself as you say is so well blended with the culture around it that it isn't very distinguishable from them. I can't entirely exclude myself from the equation but sure hungering and thirsting for a fresh wind and rain from the Spirit. It has felt so dry and arid for awhile.

I do think it has to do with our complacency and although I understand that it isn't obeying the letter of the law that procures salvation. I do admire the Jewish people for so tenaciously hanging on to what they believe no matter what.

Thank you for visiting Bob and your additional insights. No problem on the visits. I'm having a hard time getting to everything myself. Stop by when you can and I will stop by when I can.

Be blessed my friend!

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on June 28, 2012:

First I would like to say that I love America and I feel it is the best country on earth. But that said, we have a culture that has spoiled us. We have the nerve to get mad at God because we figure that we are good enough to never hurt at all. Now I lay this at the feet of American culture (or rather what the American culture has become) because American culture has bled into the rest of the world. We wanted to bring the gospel first but then with the gospel came our culture because of the wealth that God has blessed us with and thus distorted attitude of self worth. Now Christians in general behave just like you said, as if we measure God by what He has or will do for us. As you know I endeavor to read through the Bible every 4 months which makes me dwell in the Old Testament Scripture the vast majority of the time. It is constantly in there about how God is worthy and sovereign and nothing He does for us is necessary to make Him worthy of worship. However most Christians I know do not read like I do. They remain in those few hundred pages of the New Testament. They preach New Testament. If they study the study Greek and rarely ever Hebrew. Now there is what is slowly becoming a trend to call Christian churches New Testament churches. God never intended us to have such tunnel vision. The N.T. was written by Jews, with background thinking of Old Testament. The reasons they said what they did and did all the quoting they did is because they were familiar with Hebrew Scriptures. My mentor was right to beat into my head to read cover to cover but I am looked at like I am strange because I see things so differently. I thank you also for the picture of the mangrove. I didn't know anything of the mangrove and it is a wonderful picture whose story you have told so beautifully. I am truly sorry sister that I have not commented on your articles as often as I should. Please forgive me and I will try harder to give them the attention that they so deserve because they help make me a better Christian and strong. I love you Tam.

Tamarajo (author) on June 12, 2012:

Hello Skye, Ya Im not sure what happened to your first comment. I replied to one another hub. Maybe that is what happened.

Glad to hear that you enjoyed the teaching. I love vacations as it always lends to those opportunities to slow down enough and try to take a good look at His incredible lessons all around us.

Your observation is correct I have not been around for a bit. This whole year has been a season of testing. Maybe the Lord wondering if I have learned the things I write about. I can get to my computer maybe once a week and I quickly get done what I can. Thank you for asking and your concern.

When the storms have past I will have a whole bunch more to write about the things I learned about Him on this journey.

I always appreciate your Hubpages presence, and encouraging faithfilled feed back.

Bless you Skye!!

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on June 08, 2012:

tamarajo Sister I came over last week and read this. I thought I left a comment hmmmm Well my friend This is lovely. I truly enjoyed the teaching. In fact it is beautiful and dear. Your research and study is amazing. God smiles favor on you sister. You are precious. Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge. God is Awesome. His Holy Hand print in all things.

I have not seen you in a bit. I do pray all is well with you. May God keep you today and always. Keep going sister. U will Phil 4:13 Hugs Galore.

Love you

Beautiful up awesome useful

Tamarajo (author) on June 04, 2012:

Thank you drpastorcarlotta, I am pleased to hear that you were inspired by the hub and found it informational. Things have been a bit unsettled as of lately. I am getting lots of opportunities to practice the things I write about. I am in the lab so to speak. I definitely will be by when I get the chance.

Blessed for you to stop by and thanks for the vote.

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on June 03, 2012:

VERY, very informational and inspiring Hub! As always you let God use you! I am blessed to know you!! Voted-UP! I pray that things are going well with you and yours and when you get a chance, come and visit me. God Bless!!

Cristine Santander from Manila on May 09, 2012:

Nice hub with great insights to ponder on. Truly as christians God called us to a life of great purposes. Only in remaining in the center of God's will, we can fulfill God's great purposes for our lives. Christ came that we can have a full life. There is no other better alternative for a christian but to remain in the faith amidst difficult circumstances of life. Blessings to you and to your family Tamarajo. Best regards.

Tamarajo (author) on April 23, 2012:

Thank you einron, yes His sacrificial love is the foundation of it all and I agree that it needs to be passed from generation to generation. That is a great desire of mine. and I agree with you as well that we should live lives of sacrifice as well in appreciation and understanding of what He has done for us.

Blessed by your visit and comment einron.

einron from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA on April 22, 2012:

Tamarajo

Very beautifully expressed the love of God for His children. The love and sacrifice must be paased on from generation to generation. We cannot equal the sacrifice made by the Lord but can try to imitate His love for us.

Tamarajo (author) on April 21, 2012:

Hi Voice, Your comment adds much to the article. At some point I would like to add to it the details you and Dave Matthews describe in how that all connects to Moses and the children of Israel being delivered from their bondage because it really is descriptive of our deliverance process from sin.

I thank you for all your kind words and encouraging commentary. I apologize for not getting over to your page more. My computer time is rare lately but will be over to read some soon.

Be blessed in the Lord Voice I appreciate your bold and strong faith.

P.S. Dave is still maintaining his position but have seen some rays of light peer through some places of darkness.

Tamarajo (author) on April 21, 2012:

Hi lifegate, I was somewhat hesitant to share the personal observation about the current state of the church but concluded that it is true and painful observance that we need to be awakened to a passionate faith that causes us to live sacrificial lives. I made a point to speak in terms of us and we as I cannot exclude myself from the equation and problem within the church There are times when I sink into it too and it is truths and reminders such as the Mangroves that bring it all to life again.

Yes, you may post on the Great American Fast. I have a hard time finding computer time lately so I haven't been on much on either site.

Thanks much for reading and encouraging comment.

VOICE CIW on April 19, 2012:

God bless you Sister Tamarajo, this writing is so beautiful, inspiring, encouraging, and informative. God did so much for the Jewish People, and His Love for them always preserved them no matter what they did and went through. The Passover went back to the Old Testament when Moses was sent to deliver the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. The Passover was when God decreed that all the firstborn would be destroyed except for the Jewish People who put lamb's blood on the post of their door, so that when the Destroyer ( the Death Angel) sent by God came he would pass over all the homes that had the lamb's blood on the post of the door, these homes were occupied by the Jewish People. The lamb's blood was symbolically the Blood of the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) Who died for us and delivwerd us from death which is sin. Sister Tamarajo you are so deep in the Lord, and yoor writings are special to me and others. You stay blessed, I love you in the Lord. By the way I need to ask, how is David doing?

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 19, 2012:

Absolutely beautiful, TJ. I like how you hit the nail on the head with this line, "I have become so used to our cultural form of worship that centers around what He does for us and how He makes us feel...." We make it all about us when in reality it's all about Him.

What wonderful lessons the mangrove tree teaches. Thank you for sharing this with us. God never ceases to amaze me.

May I post this on The Great American Fast website?

Tamarajo (author) on April 19, 2012:

Hi Eddy, Yes so much more to contemplate with this holiday it is so deep and rich with explanation of the cross of Christ.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Tamarajo (author) on April 19, 2012:

Amen Dave Matthews! That is the truly is the Passover story and the pointing forward to the cross of Christ. I would like to expand and expound more thoroughly on the Passover and might do so at a later time. The Passover is so rich with symbols of Christ.

Thank you for your comment and additional insight.

Tamarajo (author) on April 19, 2012:

Hi Hyphenbird, This Mangrove revelation was inspiring to me too. It just confirms that God really wants us to understand Him and His ways and He gives us tangible living examples of it everyday. I seem to find these things on vacations I think because I am not distracted by the mundane.

Thank you for your visit and your comment.

Tamarajo (author) on April 19, 2012:

Hello FriendofTruth, It seemed like the whole theme of the vacation was Passover. I ran into it seems like everywhere I went. When I heard this explanation of the Mangrove trees I made the connection immediately and later after further research discovered how fitting an example it really is.

I think that everything God has created speaks something of His goodness, glory, and ways.

His people are the greatest testimony that He is.

Thank you for your visit and for commenting.

Eiddwen from Wales on April 19, 2012:

So very interesting and it left much food for thought.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on April 18, 2012:

Tamarajo: As I was reading through this loving comparison, I was reminded of the first Passover, back in Egypt, and how the angel of death, passed by or passed over the homes that bore the blood of the sacrificial lamb.

This caused me to reflect upon the crucifixion of Christ, and how we as Christians are applied with the Blood of the Lamb of God, so that our spiritual selves will be passed over, as death destroys our sinfulness, and yet frees us into a spiritual re-birth in Jesus.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on April 18, 2012:

How lovely of you to make this presentation. Passover is one of the holiest of days. I love the mangrove tree and see the allegory as you have shown it. Oh thank you for this one.

FriendofTruth from Michigan on April 17, 2012:

Blessings to you Tamarajo. This is a great comparison of Passover and the mangrove tree. You have shown so clearly how Jesus and His glory is seen in all the earth. It is amazing how the Jewish people have determined to praise and worship God no matter what - this is a great reminder for all of us who often have trouble doing that.