By Cougan Collins



Seven centuries before Jesus ever began to crawl, the Messianic Prophet foretold of Him as a “tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground” (Isa. 53:2). A tender plant does not fair well in harsh environments, and a root is not supposed to survive in a dry ground.


As a newborn, the Tender Plant was laid down into a dirty feed trough just outside of an inn because all of the rooms were full (Lk 2:7) and He lived. The Root out of a dry ground later found Himself in the arms of His parents, who were fleeing to Egypt to avoid His being killed by Herod (Mt. 2:13–15) and He lived. As He traveled down a dusty road one day, He turned to someone and mentioned that He had no place to lay His head (Lk. 9:58), and He lived. His own brothers rejected Him and did not believe in Him (Jn. 7:5), and He lived. After returning to His hometown of Nazareth, the people that He grew up with led Him to the brow of a hill to throw Him down over the cliff (Lk. 4:28–30) and He lived. Many of His disciples, after murmuring at His teachings, went back and walked with Him no more (Jn. 6:60–66) and He lived. A harsh environment of Jews took up stones to kill the Tender Plant (Jn. 10:31) and He lived.


Day after day the rejections, assaults, and conflicts continued. While He opened the ears of those who could not hear, many continued to close their ears to His teachings and He lived. After the Root out of a dry ground opened the eyes of those who could not see, many continued to close their eyes to see His truth and He lived. Jesus did not meet their standards and did not fit the appearance of a king in their minds. We are reminded that He had “no form nor comeliness” and when the people saw Him, there was “no beauty” that they “should desire him” (Isa. 53:2) and He lived.


He approached the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives with the remaining eleven apostles standing next to Him; but after His arrest, all the disciples forsook Him and fled (Mt. 26:56) and He lived.


The Tender Plant was accused of speaking blasphemy and told that He was deserving of death. His enemies spit in His face, beat Him, and struck Him with the palms of their hands (Mt. 26:65–67) and He lived. “The soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him” (Mt. 27:27–31).


Jesus was “despised and rejected of men” (Isa. 53:3). “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (Jn. 1:11). After thirty-three years, the Tender Plant died in that harsh environment. The Root out of a dry ground was “cut off out of the land of the living” (Isa. 53:8). But after three days and three nights in the tomb, we can all say with gratitude in our hearts that He was raised from the dead and He lives.

  • He suffered for us, and we need to praise Him.
  • He endured the thorns on His head, and we need to be thankful for Him.
  • He overcame the nails in His hands and the nail through His feet, and we need to honor Him.
  • They beat Him and spit in His face, but we need to reverence Him.
  • They struck Him on the head and mocked Him, but we need to respect Him.


Our sins have been washed away by His blood! “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18). We need to love the Tender Plant, and cherish the Root out of a dry ground with all of our heart, soul, and mind. — Adapted Ronnie McAbee, Seymour, Tennessee