Two thousand years ago, few trees in the Middle East were not big enough to construct anything.  However, one tree was valued above the others for its thick trunk and fine, strong wood.  When the Romans came to rule over Jerusalem, their government used this same timber to build the crosses  for executing criminals.  A group of 
workers were assigned to to build the crosses  for executing criminals. A group of workers were assigned to gather wood for the crosses. Before  long, every Roman official knew the best wood came from these gatherers of execution wood, so  those workers became popular. 

   One day, the wood gatherers received a special request. An officer of the Roman court came and  said, "The King of Jews is to be put to death. Deliver an extra-large cross made from your finest  wood." So, a fresh tree was cut from the forest of the trees with thick trunks and fine, strong wood.  An extra-tall (and extra-heavy) cross was quickly made and delivered. 

  Three days after the death of Jesus of Nazereth, the chief wood gatherer got alarming news. "All of our finest trees are withering!" the messenger whispered. The wood gatherer hurried to the forest  and saw that it was true. 

   Several years later, the chief wood gatherer heard that every spring many people visited the old forest that had once made his job so easy. Despite his advancing years, he set out to discover why.   He saw the remains of forest, now like a salty bottoms, with only a few trees still standing tall, baked, lifeless and rotting. 

    But what was this? As he drew closer, his feeble eyes could make out the people walking among  thousands of beautiful, flowering bushes. Seeing one of his own workers there, the old man said, "No one could ever make a cross out of this twisted wood. Our finest tree has gone to the dogs!" He  noticed the beautiful white flowers, each blossom looking as if it had been burned from the touch of a  miniature cross. old and beautiful legend has it that, at the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength it was selected as the timber for the cross, but to be put to such a cruel use  greatly distressed the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Jesus in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all said to it: "Because of your sorrow and pity for My sufferings, never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a gibbet. Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross -- two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints -- brown with rust and stained with red -- and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember.