It's Good Friday, and Golgotha often is mentioned as the site of the crucifixion — that grand moment in history when the God the Father gave Jesus to bear the sins of the world so that human beings could access a relationship with God by faith.
But how many of us know that the Bible links Golgotha to another biblical site that reveals God’s eternal, methodical steps toward the rugged cross?
According to many scholars, Golgotha and the ancient site of Mount Moriah may be the same area. In other words, scholars believe that Jesus may have been crucified near Moriah or at its summit.
Moriah is the place where 2,000 years before Jesus died, the Hebrew patriarch Abraham ascended the mountain with his son Issac. When Issac questioned his father about a sacrifice, Abraham told his son that God would provide the lamb. Abraham bound his son, the beloved heir God had promised Abraham and his wife, Sarah.
As Abraham was preparing to kill Issac, God stopped him, acknowledged Abraham’s abiding faith in Him, and gave a ram as a substitutionary sacrifice. The Book of Hebrews says that Abraham received his son back from the dead. Abraham’s words about a lamb that God would provide, however, wouldn’t come true until thousands of years later.
God would use a lamb to speak to His future goal when He instructed Moses to institute the Feast of Passover. The enslaved Israelites sprinkled the blood of a lamb over their doors and were protected as God judged the gods of Egypt. Jews are commemorating this unforgettable deliverance by Yahweh around the world this week.
Panoramic view of Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount), courtesy of Wikipedia.
But in Jesus -- Yeshua Ha-Mashiach -- God provided the perfect Lamb, the true Passover Lamb. The blood of Jesus frees those who believe in Him. And like Abraham and Issac, God the Father received Jesus back to Himself when He raised Jesus from the dead on Resurrection morning, which Christians will celebrate on Sunday.
Mount Moriah was also the site where David bought a threshing floor. Years later, David’s son Solomon would build the first temple to God on Moriah. Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and restored after the Jews were freed from Babylonian captivity. King Herod later remodeled the structure. This second temple, however, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus compared Himself to the temple in Jerusalem and promised that He would tear down the temple in three days and raise it again.
The site of Abraham’s obedience, the Jewish temples, and the place of Jesus’ sacrifice to redeem the world — is also the site of another event. Jewish tradition says that Mount Moriah — now known as the Temple Mount — is the site of Creation itself.
According to Hebrew for Christians, the Jewish sages believe that God created the world at Moriah, and that the “foundation stone,” the Even-ha-Shetiyah, is there. In fact, the ground itself at Moriah is where God created Adam, the sages say. This means that at the very site where the Second Adam would die for all of the sons and daughters of Adam is also the site where Adam was born.
The Bible makes it clear: Jesus is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:3).
Published on Friday, April 14, 2017 @ 12:06 PM CDT