Glory to Thy Long Suffering O Lord!
Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the Cross. He who is King of the angels is arrayed in a crown
of thorns. He who wraps the heaven in clouds is wrapped in purple of mockery. He who in Jordan set Adam free receives
blows upon His face. The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear.
We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ. We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ. We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ. Show us also
Thy glorious Resurrection. Good Friday Matins (Reading of the 12 Gospels)
“The first Adam yielded to temptation in a garden. The Last Adam beat temptation in a garden. The first man, Adam, sought to become like God. The Last Adam was God who became a man. The first Adam was naked and received clothes. The Last Adam had clothes but was stripped. The first Adam tasted death from a tree. The Last Adam tasted death on a tree. The first Adam hid from the face of God, while the Last Adam begged God not to hide His face.
The first Adam blamed his bride, while the Last Adam took the blame for His bride. The first Adam earned thorns. The Last Adam wore thorns. The first Adam gained a wife when God opened man’s side, but the Last Adam gained a wife when man opened God’s side. The first Adam brought a curse. The Last Adam became a curse. While the first Adam fell by listening when the Serpent said “take and eat,” the Last Adam told His followers, “take and eat, this is my body.” We celebrate this last event today—Jesus’ final meal with His Disciples, and His new command that we “love one another.” In giving Christians this meal, He sealed His role as Adam’s replacement.
Do you remember how, when Mary Magdalene saw the risen Christ, she mistook Him for a gardener? Through His body and blood, the Last Adam restored what the Forbidden Fruit destroyed, inviting us back to a restored Garden-City in the New Heavens and Earth, where the tree of life grows around the throne of God, free for the taking. That’s what His story, our story, the story—and this week—are all about.
Good Friday is tomorrow, and it’s easy to rush through this dark reminder of our sin, and look forward to Easter. But please, stay here a while. The only way to Sunday is through this week, and the events and the words Jesus spoke before His death are worthy of our reflection.
This reflection came from a longer podcast from Breakpoint: Jesus The Last Adam. By John Stonestreet (I was lucky enough to hear it on the radio and thought it was very Orthodox in ethos. -editor)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3 16-17
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