Brief Description of Station 12 and the reason why the secondary images are included
Station 12 – Jesus dies/Last Word/signs and wonders/response of centurion-people (Matt 27:50-56; Mk 15:37-42; Lk 23:44-49; Jn 19:30b)
a. Adam and Eve eating forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:1-8)
b. Temple sacrifice (Lev 4:22-35)
Reason – When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they brought death and damnation to the world but the fruit of the death of Jesus is forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus’ death overturns the death Adam and Eve brought into the world.
The temple sacrifices were types pointing to Jesus. Especially the sin/atonement sacrifices, which were always animal sacrifices, pointed to the death of Jesus (Heb 7:26-28).
I once heard fruit described as “nature’s candy.” There is nothing quite like a bowl of cherries, or a nice fresh orange. Just think of whatever is your favorite fruit. Fruit is good.
So Adam and Eve stretched forth their hands to eat some exotic new fruit. What a surprise. The fruit of that act was the introduction of death. First spiritual death and then physical death. There was a chill in their hearts they never knew before. God has been exiled and a black hole was left; a hole that can only properly be filled by Jesus, though people will try to fill it with most anything. This is the fruit of death. This was something we were not designed for. I tend to agree with the poet Dylan Thomas who advised, “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Modern pontificators have it wrong. Death is not a natural part of life. It is a supernatural end of life, the ugly results of sin.
But there is a death whose fruit is life. That is the death of Jesus. His death is the supernatural end of death and the harbinger of life. So Jesus finished his work on the cross and died. The Father signaled it with remarkable, supernatural, events. The temple’s curtain was torn in two. The earth quaked. Dead people rose. It was too much for a centurion stationed at the cross. He cried out, “Certainly this man was the Son of God!” The sacrifice to end all sacrifices was complete.
We all know, as students of the scriptures, that this was the sacrifice to which all the Old Testament animal sacrifices pointed. The grain and cereal offerings, the libations, may all have pointed to the joy we have for being adopted into the family of God, but the animal sacrifices pointed to Jesus. Now that the sacrificial system has been fulfilled and the final sacrifice has happened, those sacrifices have been eliminated.
Christ has given his life as a sacrifice so that we might live, live as living sacrifices for him.
Lord Jesus, my I ever rejoice in the sure knowledge that the fruit of your death is my forgiveness, my salvation. I rejoice that you have filled the empty hole in my heart, my life, with your love and mercy. Amen.