Meditations on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ
by Andrew Peterson
III. THE FIG TREE
You woke in the morning and walked along with your friends. Peter saw the fig tree you had cursed the day before, now withered and dead. While you slept, the life hissed out of the leaves, the branches clenched like knuckles, the roots curled up like the legs of a dead spider. The tree bore no fruit because it wasn't the season for fruit, and yet you cursed it.
Sometimes I'm afraid that I'm that fig tree and you'll approach me when I'm faithless and wayward and you'll banish the life from me. Or maybe you were just cross that the world you made didn't recognize you, even down to the trees themselves. Satan had so twisted the good world you made that the tree that might’ve blossomed at its maker's approach merely languished in the heat, as dead and unresponsive to your presence as I so often am.
Whatever the tree's significance, your power was plain to the disciples that morning, as it is to me now. You drew their eyes away from the fig tree to remind them about faith and forgiveness, and if they were better able to hear you by the death of the tree, then that too is fruit.
And maybe the story of the withered tree is not to make me afraid, but to show me you were hungry, and you were human. If you weren't human, then all that follows is farce.