Tree of Knowledge – A Tree of Good and Evil – The Cross

I am asking you to put yourself into the mind frame of anyone in the Roman world before the resurrection of Jesus and the writings of the first apostles.  If we transported such a person into our timeframe and they saw crucifixes and crosses around our necks, on our books, and being used as decorations on and in buildings; what would be their first thoughts?

  • Are these people marked to die?
  • Is that a jail building where you are sent to wait?
  • Can there be that many people working for Rome to kill people?
  • There are countless variations of these questions.

One thing I am fairly certain of is they would only follow you if they wanted to see someone die a slow painful death.

Since Jesus’ death we had smoothed the cross out, lost the blood (for the most part), made it huge or much smaller, and made then shiny.  Most of these actions can and will be defended.

Alright, back to my post.  The Romans did not invent the idea of killing someone on a pole, they just perfected the practice.  Ezra 6:11 and Esther 9:13 refer to people being “impaled on a pole” (NIV).  The Romans added a cross piece and that extended the length of time it took for someone to die.  If you said “cross” in Israel it was an evil thing and they took it as a curse.

Before you start thinking that I don’t like the cross in artwork or on a building, you are INCORRECT.  It has served people as a point of meditation and comfort for a long time.  I do have an issue if you make it a “good luck charm”. 

Now, imagine people who are under Roman rule with Herod in charge of your nation being told “if you want to be my worthy disciple deny yourself and carry your cross as you follow Me”. (Matthew 10:38, 16:24) The Sermon on the Mount, yes.  Healing sickness and disease, yes.  Food for 5000 plus people, yes and yes.  Carry my cross, not so much.  To be made a public “spectacle” would be “foolish”, so why “endure its pain and shame”.

Yes, there is evil associated with those two pieces of wood.  The leaders of the religious classes in Jerusalem made that clear in Matthew 27:42 with their challenge for Jesus to come off of the cross.  Simon of Cyrene, probably, was not too happy with having to pick up Jesus’ cross – Matthew 16:24. (That statement is very subjective depending on who is preaching in the morning.  His sons are mention later in the Book so good did come from it.)  But, just like the Tree in the Garden, we know its evil side and its good side.  

Hebrews 12:2 clearly speaks of Jesus knowing the cross carried shame.  He went past that for the joy it would give when He could sit next to the Father again.  In enduring the evil, He perfected our faith and disarmed the demonic powers by His triumph on the cross. (Colossians 2:15, Yes, I am mixing verses.  I will reference them and I used the NIV.)  As Peter witnesses to Cornelius in Acts 10 about what Jesus did and how the Jews hung Him on the cross; I can hear Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 1:18 – When I was perishing the message that the cross was good was foolishness, but now it is the power of God in my life.

Exercise, sugar, and many other things in life have an evil side but also a good side.  We know things like this because Eve wanted the fruit and Adam took a bite, thus getting knowledge. 

The Passion From The Psalms


The Psalms are awesome! They are songs that were and still are sung but they are also prophetic.  This post is just a glimpse at all of the foreshadows of Jesus’ life and Passion. David wrote many of the Psalms and this collection is centered in his first book (1 to 41).

I feel that the three prayers Jesus prayed in the Garden are also in Psalms.  I have tried to sort out something that might sound right but the task is huge.

These came from the NIV (more or less), I tend to capitalize pronouns that refer to Jesus/God. 

  • Psalm 40: 7 to 8 – The beginning of Jesus’ ministry – I have come to do Your will 
  • Psalm 40: 9 to 10 – His ministry– I do not hide Your righteousness or conceal Your love
  • Psalm 42: 4 – Triumphal Entry– Leading multitudes to the house of God amid shouts of joy.
  • Psalm 45: 7 – Dinner during Holy Week– Anointed with joy and my robes smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia.
  • Psalm 35: 14 – tears in the Garden– mourning, bowed my head, weeping
  • Psalm 6: 6 – praying in Garden– worn out from groaning, weeping
  • Psalm 31: 9 – Jesus in Garden– My eyes grow weak with sorrow, soul and body with grief
  • Psalm 10: 2 – Judas /mob– hunt down the weak
  • Psalm 17: 11 – mob– they have tracked Me down to throw Me down
  • Psalm 27: 2,3 – the mob in the Garden– My foes attack me, they will stumble and fall
  • Psalm 41: 9 – Judas– My close friend who shared my bread lifted his heal against me!
  • Psalm 55: 13 to 14 –Judas– my companion, friend, that walked with me 
  • Psalm 10: 15 – Judas– call him to account for his wickedness
  • Psalm 44: 10 – Disciples in the Garden– we retreated before our enemies and they plunder us (young man lost his tunic)
  • Psalm 44: 13,14 – Disciples– You made us a reproach, a scorn, as people shake their heads at us.
  • Psalm 38: 11 – disciples running in the Garden and not being at the cross– friends avoid me because of my wounds, stay far from me
  • Psalm 42: 10 – On the cross/Pharisees– my bones suffer agony while they say, “Where is your God?”
  • Psalm 11: 1 – Pharisees– flee like a bird to the mountains (Luke 13:31)
  • Psalm 41: 6 – Pharisees– They gather slander to spread it abroad
  • Psalm 37: 12 – Council plotting
  • . Psalm 38: 12 – Council– set traps, talk of my ruin
  • Psalm 38: 19+20 – Council/enemies– hate me without reason, repay my good for evil
  • Psalm 13: 4 – Pharisees– enemy will say, “I have overcome Him”
  • Psalm 35: 16 –trial– Pharisees gnashed their teeth
  • Psalm 35: 11 – Jesus’ trial– ruthless witnesses come forward
  • Psalm 38: 2 – Roman beating– arrows pierced me, Your hand came upon me
  • Psalm 38: 7 – Beating– back is filled with pain
  • Psalm 22: 12 – beating– many bulls have surrounded Me
  • Psalm 31: 11 – on road to the cross– those who see Me flee
  • Psalm 22: 16 – the cross– they pierced my hands and feet
  • Psalm 22: 18 – Roman guards– divided my garments cast lots for my clothes
  • Psalm 49: 5+6 – On the cross, why Jesus died– Wicked deceivers surround me, ransom for life is costly, should live forever and not see decay
  • Psalm 14: 7 – Why– Oh, that salvation would come out of Zion
  • Psalm 3: 2 – Pharisees/thief at the cross– many say “God will not deliver Him
  • Psalm 22: 7+8 – at cross– hurl insults, He trust in God let Him deliver Him
  • Psalm 42: 3 – On the Cross/Pharisees– Men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
  • Psalm 31: 5 – Jesus on cross– into Your hands I commit my spirit
  • Psalm 22: 1 – Jesus– My God why have You forsaken Me 
  • Psalm 31: 9 to 18 – Part of the pray in the Garden and His trip out of the city
  • Psalm 35: 19 to 26 – prayer in the Garden, trial, and the darkness(26)
  • Psalm 38: 21+22 – in the Garden/on the cross– do not forsake me, come to my help
  • Psalm 39: 9 – Silence– would not open my mouth
  • Psalm 38: 13+14 – Jesus’ silence– cannot open my mouth, offer no reply
  • Psalm 22: 15 – thirst– strength dried up, tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth
  • Psalm 34: 20 – no bones broken(first Passover lamb in Exodus)
  • Psalm 35: 4 to 6 – why darkness– turned back in dismay and their path is dark and slippery
  • Psalm 23: 4 – When Jesus went to Hell– Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
  • Psalm 40: 1 to 3 – the Resurrection– lift me out of the pit, set my feet on a rock
  • Psalm 16: 10 – Resurrection– the Holy One will not see decay
  • Psalm 17: 15 – Resurrection – In righteousness I will see your face when I awake
  • Psalm 18: 4 to 7 – Resurrection– the earth trembled and quaked (much of Psalm18 talks of things that happened)
  • Psalm 22: 24 – Resurrection– not disdained the suffering of the afflicted One
  • Psalm 19: 3 – Pentecost– no speech or language where their voice is not heard

Yes, I am sure there are others but this is a start.