What does this beautiful Autumn setting represent?
It amazes me that this tranquil scene is a picture of death. While each Fall provides tree watchers with excitement and child-like exuberance, nevertheless, the vibrancy of the colors betray the coming Winter. The leaves of trees turn beautiful when they die.
This reminds me of the world. Sinners without Christ are the walking dead. They may be talented, educated, winsome and, some, exceptionally beautiful, but they are spiritually dead. The βιος (biological life) hides the lack of ζωη (spiritual life).
Consider Paul's words:
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."
(Eph 2:1-3 ESV)
In his Explanatory Notes John Wesley commented on 2.1a:
"Who were dead - Not only diseased, but dead; absolutely void of all spiritual life; and as incapable of quickening yourselves, as persons literally dead."
Walking corpses. Not a pretty picture to imagine. Even worse is the spiritual reality. Jesus Christ didn't die for nothing. He died to provide spiritual life to those who walk in spiritual death.
May God reveal to them that their beautiful colors mean they must be given life, because they are dead.