1 Corinthians 15:22 - For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
In old paintings of the crucifixion you will often see a human skull, right at the base of Jesus' cross. Ask a museum guide and they will tell you that the skull is supposed to be Adam's skull. It is a reminder of when human beings first disobeyed God and fell into evil. It is a reminder of the time when death first became a part of the human experience.
Surely, Adam and Eve weren't thinking of Jesus' cross when they first reached out to pick the forbidden fruit. They were looking at a tree in paradise—one that was beautiful, green, full of fruit, lovely to the eye and tempting to the taste. They could not have imagined the very different tree they were bringing about by their rebellion against God.
That tree would stand at Calvary, not in Eden. Instead of beauty, there would be horror; instead of green leaves, dry, rough wood. It made no appeal to the eye or taste; people turned from it in fear and disgust. And what hung on its branches was the dying Son of God.
Adam and Eve didn't foresee Jesus' cross—but God did. Walking in the garden that evening, He called out to His lost children. "Adam, where are you?" He knew what had happened. Still He heard their half-hearted confession, warned them of the consequences to come, and covered their shame—all the while knowing that the cross lay in His Son's future. God Himself would rescue His sinful children at the cost of the life of His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are also many old paintings of Jesus visiting hell, triumphant after breaking the power of the devil by His death on the cross. The artists always show Him leading humanity out of the gates of hell to freedom. If you look closely, you will see that that He is shown leading Adam and Eve first of all, in memory of His first Gospel promise in Genesis 3:15: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."
THE PRAYER: Lord, thank You for saving us through Your death on the tree of the cross. Amen.
Have you ever planted a tree? Tell about it.
Have you ever loved someone who made a bad choice? How did you try to help?
What does it mean to you, knowing that God foresaw the cross?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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