Today’s reading is Romans 5: 12-21 In today’s passage, we see Paul contrast Jesus and Adam. Through Adam, sin entered the world. Through the fall, all humans have original sin and that their sinful actions deserve punishment. That is the way … Continue reading
Today we look at the crucifixion of Jesus in Mark 15:21-32:
21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.
25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. 29 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.
There are so, so many things that we could look at in this passage, so many different things of great import here, things that changed the course of human history.
We see here Simon of Cyrene, being forced to carry the cross. He was just standing there, when this was thrust upon him. We never know when life may come to us in ways that we don’t understand and that we are not ready for.
We see them dividing Jesus’ clothes, taking what would have been considered His only real possession of value and picking over it.
We see Jesus being mocked, one last insult.
But to me, and this is something I learned from my trips to the Holy Land, the thing that speaks so much to be me, is the place where Jesus is crucified. Golgotha, which means the place of the skull.
Why was it called “the place of the skull?” I always thought it must have looked like a skull. I may have been taught that some point in my life. But I always believed that it was a reference to the appearance of the place.
That’s not true. I wanted to share with you a picture of from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. This mural shows Jesus on the cross, but look what you see beneath the cross. You see a skull.
Golgotha, in Jewish tradition and legend, was the burial place for Adam. So, within tradition, when the earthquake came and the earth was split open, the blood of the second Adam (Jesus) washed over the skull of the first Adam.
Now, this is just legend, there’s no proof that any of this happened. But here’s the deal. That’s exactly what happened. Paul writes about it in his letters. Through Adam, all died. Through Jesus, all live (1 Corinthians 15:22). Through Adam, all of us are fallen. His sin, his betryal of God, it is passed down to all of us.
You, me, all of us. We are all broken. We all choose wrong. We all rebel. We all push against God, we all blow it. Each of us. We all stand in need.
Through Adam, all die.
And through Jesus, all can live. Jesus died for the world. His blood washes away the affects of fall. As we sing in “O For a Thousand Tounges” – He breaks the power of canceled sin!
Just as through Adam, all suffer and die, through Jesus, all live. Through Jesus, all are forgiven.
All are forgiven.
You are forgiven.
The blood of Christ washes away the effects of the Fall. Through Jesus Christ you are forgiven.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 15:33-41.
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One of my favorite things that the Bible teaches about Jesus is this. He’s the second Adam.
Wait, huh? What does that even mean, to say that Jesus is the second Adam? Listen to what Paul writes here in 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22:
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
The first Adam (you know Adam) was created, he and Eve walked with God, and all was great. Then, as we know, they ate from the tree they were forbidden to eat from, and they fell. And then all of creation fell with them.
So, as it says here, death came through one man. When Adam fell, all of creation fell him. Both creation, and humanity. So, we all now, struggle with our sin, our temptation, our stuff. All of us.
To say you struggle with sin and temptation doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. All of us, me, you, all of us struggle with sin. We are the children of our father Adam. Through one man, all fell.
But, it says that just as through Adam, all fell, through Jesus all can live. So, one of the coolest things that Jesus did, was he undid what happened in the fall.
Think about it. What happened in the fall – sin and death. What happened through Jesus – forgiveness and life. So, in other words, you don’t have to stay the same. Yes, we all suffer under temptation and sin, we all struggle, but Jesus came to restore us from what we inherited.
Through one man, all have died. But, through one Man, Jesus Christ, all of us can live. For in the resurrection, God has overcome sin, death, and the grave. You don’t have to be dead anymore. You can live. The second Adam has destroyed the work of the first.
Today, you can live!
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