Mount of Corruption

One of the great things about reading through the Bible is making connections in the texts that illumine the larger narrative of the fall and redemption.

In 1 Kings 11.4-8 we read that Solomon’s loyalty to God was led astray by his foreign wives and their worship of false gods. Solomon erected shrines for all these gods that his wives worshiped, including the shrine to Moloch, a shrine of child sacrifice.

In 2 Kings 23.13-14 we find the great Reformer-King Josiah bringing true worship back to Israel. Josiah goes to where Solomon erected all these shrines and tears them down, and we are told the location of this place is the Mount of Corruption, the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives becomes a byword in Israel, a term of degradation. No longer the Mount of Olives, but the Mount of Corruption. The place that once gave anointing oil, and oil of incense, and oil for sacrifice for the worship of God is now the place of Corruption.

When we read about the Mount of Olives, or think about the Mount of Olives, we usually do not think about what Solomon and Josiah did there, but what about Jesus did on the Mount of Olives. He would go there to pray through the night and to be alone with the disciples, but He also went there to be crucified and buried.

God’s plan is that of restoration and recreation. Corruption is not a permanent mark of human history because God is the one writing it. The Mount of Corruption is also the Mount of Crucifixion, but God doesn’t leave it there either. The Mount of Corruption becomes the Mount of Resurrection.

Jesus was crucified on the Mount of Olives, the place of corruption, but this place is transformed into a Garden of Life. It was on the Mount of Corruption that Jesus defeated the Devil by crushing his head and receiving a wounded heel. It was there that He paid the penalty of sins for His people, and it is there that the curse of death began to come undone. It was there that He ascended to the Father to receive all authority in heaven and earth.

The Mount of Corruption was the place that God’s people once offered their sons and daughters to the demon Moloch, and it is the same place that God the Father sent His Son to be the willing Lamb. From the place of Corruption comes the new creation. Solomon, the greatest king in history failed to stay loyal to God and failed to be a blessing to the nations. Josiah the great Reformer-King failed in rooting out the corruption of worship. But where these kings failed, King Jesus succeeds.

Jesus is the Servant King. He is the Priest-King, and as a new high priest His death cleanses the Mount of Corruption into the Garden of Resurrection. This is what the death and resurrection of Jesus does in the land. Jesus is not just after this one mount to the south of Jerusalem, but He is after every place of corruption.

Every place of corruption in every nation on this earth will be transformed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. That is the promise of God. It is at the cross that mercy, peace, and cleanness may be found. It is in the perfect death of Jesus in the midst of a corrupt and rebellious people that God begins something irreversible, a new creation. No king can undo what Jesus has done and no corruption of demonic worship or child sacrifice can stop the victory of the Gospel. All the shrines in all the world will topple and Jesus will reign supreme.

From the Mount of Corruption to the Mount of Olives, from the First Adam to the Second Adam, it is plain that through Jesus Christ God pulls grace out of sin.

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