Luke 23:31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
For if they do these things in a green tree,…
Or it may be rendered impersonally, “if these things are done in a green tree”; by which is meant the Lord Jesus Christ, who is often compared to a tree, as to a green fir tree, an apple tree, a vine, and is called the tree of life: and may be said to be a moist or green tree;
because, as a green tree is full of juice, so is he of grace and goodness;
as that is flourishing, so was he in the fame of his doctrine and miracles, in the spread of his Gospel, and in the increase of his kingdom and interest;
and as that is fruitful and useful, so was he in preaching the Gospel, and healing diseases;
and as that is not proper to be cut down, nor fit fuel for the fire, so he was not deserving of death, or to be used in the manner he was;
the metaphor seems designed to express the righteousness and innocence of Christ; … who was pure in his nature, without sin in his life, harmless in his conversation, and did no hurt to any man’s person or property:
his enemies could find nothing, nor prove any thing against him; nor even the devil himself, but owned him to be the Holy One of God;
and he was also declared innocent by his judge, the Roman governor: and yet, how many hard and grievous things were done unto him!
He was persecuted in his infancy, and his life was sought for;
he was despised and reproached by men all his days;
he was apprehended as if he had been a thief, and was bound as a malefactor;
and arraigned at the bar of men, as if he had been the greatest criminal on earth;
he was mocked, buffeted, and spit upon in the palace of the high priest;
he was scourged by Pilate, and misused by his soldiers, who arrayed him with a scarlet robe, put a crown of thorns on his head, and a reed in his hand, and in a mock way bowed the knee to him, and saluted him as King of the Jews;
they crucified him between two thieves, …
and as he hung on the cross mocked him, and gave him gall and vinegar to drink.
To which may be added, that he was forsaken by his God, and Father, and his wrath was poured out upon him, as he sustained the persons, and bore the sins of his people; the curse of the law was executed on him: and justice drew its sword, and sheathed it in him. …
and if such things were done to Christ by his Father, according to the requirement of the law, and the strictness of divine justice, when he was made sin for his people, though he knew none, nor committed any himself, what vengeance will fall on them, who must answer for their sins in their own persons?
What devouring flames, and everlasting burnings, will such dry trees be exposed to, as being fit for them, and deserving of them?