I like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
"Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more."
But, you, O Lord of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart... to you I have entrusted my cause!
Jesus is the most beautiful young tree cut off in his vigor. But he will foil the forces of destruction, for he is truly God. The blood-soaked cross of his agony and death will become the radiant Tree of Life.
Madonna and Child with Saints, Girolamo dai Libri, Italian, Verona 1474–1555, ca. 1520, Tempera and oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Used with permission.