Three important events happened in the life of YAHSHUA before His death: the triumphal entry, the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the temple.
After His triumphal entry to Jerusalem, He and His disciples, on the following day, when they had come out of Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it [for in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves, for the fig season had not yet come. He said to it, No one ever again shall eat fruit from you. When evening came on, He and His disciples, as accustomed, went out of the city. In the morning, when they were passing along, they noticed that the fig tree was withered away to its roots (Mark 11:12-14,19-20).
The fig tree is mentioned first in Genesis, when Adam and Eve used its leaves to cover their nakedness after they transgressed against God’s command. “They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apron like girdles” (Gen. 3:7). The fig tree in this instance served as a temporary covering for our parents in the garden, until God provided them with long coats of skins and clothed them (Gen. 3:21). Fig trees were prominent in Palestine, where Israel was heading in their journey of forty years. Moses told them that the Lord God was bringing them into a good land…a land of wheat, barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive tree and honey (Deut. 8:7-8). Fig trees were a symbol of blessing. In the days of King Hezekiah when he rebelled against the King of Assyria, he responded to Hezekiah by trying to sway his army by offering vine and fig tree. The fig tree constitutes a symbol of peace. In Proverbs 27:18 Solomon compares the tending of a fig tree to looking after one’s master. In the Song of Solomon chapter 2:13 the fig tree is a sign of the times. The prophet Micah mentions the fig tree in the latter days as a symbol of peace and security. “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Micah 4:4). In Jeremiah’s vision of baskets of figs- one good and the other very bad figs, the message here was of redemption and of judgment. Like these good figs so will I regard the captives of Judah whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good, (says the Lord) For I will set My eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up, and I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart. And as for the bad figs… I will even give them up to be a dismay and a horror and to be tossed to and from among all the kingdoms of the earth for evil, to be a reproach, a byword or proverb, a taunt, and a curse in all places where I will drive them. And I will send the sword, famine and pestilence among them until they are consumed from off the land that I gave to them and to their fathers (Jer. 24:1-10). In the book of Joel, the fig tree is a sign of Israel’s restoration. The prophet encourages all to rejoice. He said, Be not afraid, you wild beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness have sprung up and are green; the tree bears its fruit, and the fig tree and the vine yield their strength (Joel 2:21-15).