Friday, May 14, 2010

The New Adam

For most of my life, I thought of the Old Testament as a quaint collection of stories about apples, arks and Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea.  I knew most of the four gospels, simply by attending weekly Mass, but the Old Testament readings had little meaning to me.  That all changed about five years ago when my parish offered a Bible study called The Great Adventure.

Suddenly the Old Testament came alive!  I found myself unable to put down the Bible because the stories were so fascinating.  Not only that, but I finally understood the idea that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament.  I never realized that there were "Christ figures" such as Isaac (carrying the wood for his sacrifice up the hill) or Melchisedec (the king and High Priest who offers a sacrifice of bread and wine), and that's just scratching the surface.

Today as I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, I reflected on Jesus as the new Adam.  As St. Paul states, "But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come." (Romans 5:14).

In the First Sorrowful Mystery, The Agony in the Garden, Jesus reverses Adam's disobedience:  "... Not what I will but what You will."  It is no accident that this scene occurs in a garden.  Jesus' acceptance of His Father's will is clearly repairing the damage done eons ago by Adam in the garden of Paradise.  Adam's disobedience closed the gate to that garden, but Jesus' obedience opens the gates to the heavenly Paradise, to which we now all have access.  All we must do is deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.  (Matthew 16:24)

Note:  You can rent an older version of the Great Adventure DVDs at Pius Media.

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