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It will probably qualify for the Guinness World Records. It has been dubbed ‘the world’s most expensive tree’ and it is making news around the world. They say it tops $11 million US in value. There’s nothing cheap about the Christmas tree in the lobby of the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The bare-bones conifer tree itself cost at least $10,000 but it’s what’s hanging on the 43 foot (13 metres) high tree that gives it such incredible value.

The Christmas Tree is elaborately and excessively decorated with ornaments that are breathtaking and extravagant to the human eye. Over 181 ornaments of gold and precious stones including diamonds and sapphires hang from the bows of the tree. Gold watches, pearl necklaces, emeralds and many other expensive items are hanging on the tree

It is a marketing ploy and the Hotel has confirmed that it has asked Guinness World Records to recognize the tree in its famous records as the ‘world’s most expensive tree.’

The reality is – a higher, more permanent set of records has listed another tree as the most expensive tree in the world. Again, what gave the tree its value was what hung on the tree. In fact, the world’s most expensive tree so far outstrips the value of the Abu Dhabi tree that it almost seems like poor taste to attempt a comparison.

World’s Most Expensive Tree

The pearls, the glittering gold, the flashing diamonds and all the ornaments on that Christmas Tree is dollar-store cheap when contrasted to the world’s most expensive tree.

Location was Rugged

The costliest tree of the ages was not mounted in the lobby of a luxury palace hotel to be viewed by admiring eyes. The tree was mounted on the top of a barren little hill outside of Jerusalem. It looked more like a pole or a cross than an actual tree. But it originally was one of those trees growing in a forest. It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination. No matter what angle you viewed it from – there was nothing pleasing to the natural eye.

Not Attractive – Of No Value to Most

In fact, this tree was grotesquely rugged and had all the markings of human brutality over it. The polished veneer of human good taste was nowhere to be seen. Just the opposite. Those who passed by didn’t bother to stop at its base and wonder at what hung upon this tree. They sneered and mocked as they passed on by. The world’s most expensive tree was of no value to most.

Infinite Value

The type of wood from the tree is not what gave it value. It was the hanging on the tree that drove its value through the roof of earth up to Heaven itself. What was hanging on that tree was of infinite value – far above the price of diamonds, silver and gold.  Tears come to the eye at the very thought of it.

Hanging on the Tree

A man beaten and bruised hung upon that tree. Yes, death by crucifixion was the Roman way of executing the worst of criminals – but this man had committed no crimes. He was perfect. He was innocent. This man had been stripped of His clothes. His back was lashed open from a horrific scourging. Men had repeatedly spewed their spit in His face and threw their punches at Him, even pounding His head with a rod as they blindfolded Him. Then the ultimate insult reserved for those who had committed the most despicable crimes: they nailed His hands and feet with spikes to a cross – a tree and left Him to die.

His name was Jesus.

Through all of the torture, not a threatening swear word came from His lips. Not a flash of anger from His eyes – nothing but love. In fact, from that tree He prayed to God and said:

“Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”

Bearing the Heaviest Load Ever

There is something else you need to know about the world’s most expensive tree. On that tree, God placed upon Jesus the heaviest load of all – our sins. Accumulated retrospectively from the very first sin committed and prospectively to the very last sin of the human race – the entire load of sin was upon Him while He hung on that tree. God poured down from Heaven the judgment that should have fallen on us. Jesus bore our sins and suffered the penalty for them while He hung on that Cross.

The Apostle Peter wrote: “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree.” 1Peter 2:24. He also said: “You were ransomed…not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.” 1Peter 1:19

On the Tree A Debt Was Paid

At the end, just before Jesus died, He triumphantly cried with a very loud voice: “It is finished!” John 19:30. He then bowed His head and delivered up His spirit and expired upon the tree. What was it that Jesus finished? Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins and yours. ‘Paid in full’ is the equivalent phrase in the Greek language. His most precious blood flowed freely on that Historic occasion. Jesus paid my sin debt by dying on the tree.

Without question that tree is the most expensive tree of all times because of ‘Who’ hung upon it and ‘what’ He accomplished there for our sins.

Which Tree Means Most to You?

Which tree is of greater value to you – the one elaborately decorated with gold and silver that will only make it to the Guinness World Records or the one recorded in the Bible as the tree upon which our sins were paid for in the currency of precious blood that flowed from the innocent One – the Lord Jesus Christ?

Every single person going to Heaven appreciates, in a very personal sense, what happened on that tree. Without the deep appreciation for the One who hung upon that tree, a person will never make it to God’s Heaven. Christmas 2012 would be the best Christmas of your entire life, if you, for the first time, received the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Saviour. Christmas would take on an entirely new meaning to you.

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