If you have ever grafted plants or trees, you may be aware of the process, if not, this concept may be new. Grafting is the practice of taking a part of a plant that is no longer rooted in the ground… and permanently connecting it to another plant that still is rooted. The process involves deep cuts into BOTH the rooted and uprooted plant. After the deep cuts are made, those ‘wounded’ areas are places as tightly together as possible and then bound together for several seasons. Eventually the artificial binding can be removed and the new growth bond is as strong or even stronger than any other part of either plant. The joined area will likely be visible for the life of the plant, but it will remain strong. It is through this joined section that the nutrients of the rooted plant gives new life to the previously uprooted one. The two are really made one. When done properly, the fruit produced on the grafted branch should be no different that fruit produced on a natural branch of the same plant.
When God established His covenant with Abraham, He made no distinction between those born naturally to Abraham and those grafted into his family. “He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.”
Now in this generation, people were grafted into a household by being purchased. This could mean the slaves or servants that were actually bought on the market, it could also mean the wife who was bought with a dowry. Today, we graft people into our family through adoption. In fact, although we typically think of legal adoption of children into our family… the fact is that we ourselves are adopted by God. “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” (Eph 1:5)
Here’s the thing though… in order to make a proper graft joint… there must be a deep cut into both parties. As we adoptive parents graft other children into our family, there is already a deep cut (a loss) for that child. In order for God to properly bond that child to our family, we also must be cut. It is through the joining of these cuts, that the bond can happen. Likewise, for us to be grafted to God, both parties had to be cut. Our cut is typically obvious… our sin, our depravity, etc. But God’s cut was the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus going to the cross for us, was not only to pay the price for our sins… it was the cut through which we are able to bond with Him.
Grafting is never painless… but without it, the uprooted branch cannot survive. Only through the pain of grafting can bond ever be made.
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