During the days leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus there are actually two records involving a fig tree. People have assumed these were the same incident, but in examining the details, one finds that there are several ‘apparent’ discrepancies. This is where all the fun begins. Actually digging deeper and sorting out who said what, why, when and where reveals amazing beauty and exquisite depth for the hungry heart.
The timing of these two instances, just ahead of a dark week ahead, is purposeful. In Genesis 41:32, Joseph explains to Pharaoh a principle regarding God and revelation:
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Things were going to change. The old wineskins of religion were going to be replaced by a new covenant. The fig tree represented Israel. The conditions of the nation at that time had become fruitless.
The 10th of Nisan was the very day when Israel was to choose the Passover lamb.
Exodus 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: (Exodus 12:3)
Jesus Christ was the passover Lamb that year. Jesus Christ would usher in a new age that would mean life for both Judeans and Gentiles. He was the ‘once and for all’ permanent atonement for anyone who believes including Israel.
10 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10-1-10)