Midstocket Church Aberdeen

Bible Garden

Plant type: Crocus

The reference to the crocus in the bible can be found in the book of Isaiah Chapter 35 Verses 1-2. The prophet Isaiah, when he was looking forward to the Advent of the Messiah, wrote a number of verses about the peace that he hoped that Christ would bring to the world

“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing.”

There is a great symbolic meaning in this of this passage - when Messiah comes, the world which is often dry and full of death will become a place of abundant life.

What makes the Old Testament prophets unique among all the seers is the detailed nature of their prophecies. Isaiah didn’t just say flowers would bloom, he mentioned the crocus by name. Nor did he just say that the world would be a better place when the Messiah came; in this prophecy he foretold specific ways in which the Messiah would bring peace to the world. And he doesn’t leave us wondering who this Messiah would be - he tells us exactly who He is by telling us exactly what the Messiah would do, some 700 years before His birth.

When Isaiah was looking for some natural phenomena that we would have already been familiar with, something that would help us understand the impact that the Advent of the Messiah would have, he pointed us to the crocus. The crocus isn’t generally a large flower, nor does it live an exceptionally long life. What makes the crocus unique among flora is when and where it blooms.

In Aberdeen, the crocus is one of the first flowers to bloom near the end of winter, often emerging through late winter snows. As such, it is the first sign of new life before spring arrives. It is a hopeful sign of life when most of the gardens are frozen and the ground is bare.

In Israel, crocuses bloom in every region, but thrive during the autumn and winter, in rocky, desert dry places. They are small, colourful splashes of life in places where life seems most unlikely. The ancient reader would have immediately been reminded of the bright, lively purple and yellow blooms of the crocus when Isaiah mentioned them. They would have naturally known the hope that is generated at the sight of such blooms. None of Isaiah’s original readers would have lived to see the birth of the Messiah, but the faithful readers of his predictions longed with hope for the day that He would come forth—a splash of life.