Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree.

“As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. In his delightful shade I sit, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. He has taken me to the wedding feast at the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.”  (Song of Songs 2:3-4).

The Song of Songs is both a literal love story about marriage and an allegory about God’s love for His people. The rabbinic tradition is that this book reflects the love Yahweh has for Israel. The Christian Church maintains too that it is also a story about Christ’s love for His Church. It is all this, and it has a lot to say to believers in our holy God. Song of Songs is a very sensuous book, the most explicit in the Scripture. And so it sets the stage well for thinking about how physical relations between husband and wife is a deep, mysterious reflection of the spiritual relations God wants with His followers. Song of Songs is a wedding song honoring marriage, which causes believers in Christ to contemplate the mystical union between Jesus and His believers, and the marriage between Christ and His bride at the Last Day.

Right from Day One, the early Church has maintained that the apple tree in this passage represents Jesus Christ. It combines two popular titles for Christ, the Bridegroom and the King. The fruit of his lips is accepted as representing the fruit of the Bridegroom’s lips, the words He has spoken, His holy Word. They are sweet to the soul’s taste, as the psalmist declares in Ps. 119:103: “How sweet are your promises to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” The king’s banner at his wedding feast was typically a pole with a flaglike cloth attached to it that was held up for all to see. This banner symbolized the king’s protective care. The bride here enjoys the privilege of viewing the king’s banner of love over her for her security and protection as an expression of his affection for her, the honored bride. In His love for us, the Lord has His banner over us as well.

The words to this poem/song are exquisite and powerful. It’s best used as a meditative piece on the Person of Christ. It first was written as a poem by Rev. Richard Hutchins in the 18th century. It was immediately put to music and has been put to music by many different composers. The most popular compositions have been by Elizabeth Poston and John Rutter. Enjoy, and may these words inspire us to love Jesus even more than we do now.

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree by Elizabeth Poston, sung by Ensemble Altera – YouTube

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

“The tree of life my soul hath seen,Laden with fruit and always green;The trees of nature fruitless be,Compared with Christ the Apple Tree.
His beauty doth all things excel,By faith I know but ne’er can tellThe glory which I now can see,In Jesus Christ the Appletree.
For happiness I long have sought,And pleasure dearly I have bought;I missed of all but now I see‘Tis found in Christ the Appletree.
I’m weary with my former toil –Here I will sit and rest awhile,Under the shadow I will be,Of Jesus Christ the Appletree.
With great delight I’ll make my stay,There’s none shall fright my soul away;Among the sons of men I seeThere’s none like Christ the Appletree.
I’ll sit and eat this fruit divine,It cheers my heart like spirit’al wine;And now this fruit is sweet to me,That grows on Christ the Appletree.
This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,It keeps my dying faith alive;Which makes my soul in haste to beWith Jesus Christ the Appletree.”
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Elizabeth Poston