Mark 16:6-7 (NIV)
6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
In 1973, archeologists uncovered a cache of date palm seeds in ancient Masada, Israel. Scientists estimated that the seeds were produced about 70 AD. The Romans called it Phoenix dactylifera -- "the date-bearing phoenix" -- because it never died and appeared to be reborn in the desert where all other plant life perished.
The seeds were stored at Israel's Bar-Ilan University where they remained for the next thirty years. In November 2004, Dr. Sarah Sallon approached the university and asked for some of the seeds.
"When we asked if we could try and grow some of them, they said, 'You're mad,' but they gave us three seeds," Sarah said.
Sarah's friend, biologist Dr. Elaine Solowey also didn't have much faith that the seeds would germinate, but Elaine carefully prepared the seeds for planting. First she soaked the seeds in hot water to make them once again able to absorb liquids. Then she soaked them in a solution of nutrients followed by an enzymatic fertilizer made from seaweed.
Tu B'shevat, a Jewish holiday known as the New Year for Trees, fell on January 25, 2005. Elaine chose that day to plant the seeds in new potting soil, hook them up to a drip irrigation system, and then she left them locked up. Elaine occasionally checked on the plants for a few weeks, and in March 2005, she noticed a sprout. By November 2005, the sprout had turned into a sapling that was 3 feet high with nine leaves. Nicknamed Methuselah, the seeds is oldest seed to ever germinate.
God has the power to bring life to that which was dead. His greatest triumph is the resurrection of Christ.
Dear Lord, thank You for the New Year and all that is ahead of us. Thank You for the new life we have in You and that we as Your children will be raised from the dead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.