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Having equated Christ Himself with the tree that is near the waters, which in turn is the Tree of Life, St. Hilary sets out to provide Scriptural evidence that such a conclusion is good and right:

And now that we have shewn upon prophetic warrant that Wisdom, which is Christ, is called the tree of Life in accordance with the mystery of the coming Incarnation and Passion, we must go on to find support for the strict truth of this interpretation from the Gospels. The Lord with His own lips compared Himself to a tree when the Jews said that He cast out devils in Beelzebub: ‘Either make the tree good, said He, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit’ (Matt 12:33); because although to cast out devils is an excellent fruit, they said He was Beelzebab, whose fruits are abominable. Nor yet did He hesitate to teach that the power that makes the tree happy resided in His Person, when on the way to the Cross He said: ‘For if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?’ (Luke 23:31) Declaring by this image of the green tree that there was nothing in Him that was subject to the dryness of death.

This paragraph is why I love reading the Fathers of the Church. They are so steeped in Scriptural knowledge that they can shed a completely knew light upon a verse that, though read dozens of times, had never caught our attention.

The part of Matthew 12 that usually holds our attention is Christ’s claim that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the only unpardonable sin. The verse quoted by St. Hilary immediately follows and actually places the blasphemy in context. If Christ is the tree, then the Holy Spirit leads us to that tree (we see this in context of the Divine Liturgy where the Holy Spirit descend upon us and the gifts set forth to make them the Body and Blood for us to partake). To blaspheme against the only source that leads us to Christ is to completely cut oneself off from the one source of life. It is a sin that is unforgivable, because, through our own free will, we have completely separated ourselves from God. We will not allow God into our lives in any way and thus make it impossible for Him to forgive the sins that separate us.

In Luke 23 Christ is being led to Golgotha. The quote St. Hilary uses is directed at the women who are weeping for Him. He quotes Hosea 10:8, which refers to the cries of the Israelites that had turned to pagan Gods when faced with the wrath of God. Thus, the dry wood refers to the barrenness of the Jews who allowed the Tree of Life — Christ, the green living tree — to be led to crucifixion.

Thus, in both cases, Christ is equating Himself to the Tree of Life — the tree that is near the waters.