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Mary as the New Ark of Noah & Good Friday: Did Noah Bring The Bones of Adam on the Ark?

    In this post you will learn

You may have heard that the Virgin Mary is the New Ark of Moses, the New Ark of the Covenant. If you haven't, you can read more about that here and here

But did you know that Mary is also the New Ark of Noah? 

This is pretty easy to understand on one level. The Virgin Mary, as the mother of Jesus, is the mother of all the living, who are born again in Christ through Baptism. She is mother of all people, just like Eve was and should have been. 

All living things were protected from the Great Flood in the womb of Noah's Ark. Jesus, through Whom all things were created, was protected in the womb of Mary, the new Noah's Ark.

But there's more ... 

There's also the matter of the bones of Adam.

If you would like to read more about the Biblical connections to Mary, I have created an entire e-course and book on this! It's called What You Need to Know About Mary But Were Never Taught. Click below to enroll: 

What is the Connection Between the Bones of Adam, Noah's Ark, and the Virgin Mary?

Do you know where the bones of Adam ended up? Why Golgotha is named the "place of the skull"? You can read all about that here.    

Long story, short. The Israelites took care of the bones of the patriarchs. They carried the bones of Joseph and Jacob all through their wanderings in the wilderness. The wilderness generation committed every other kind of betrayal and sin possible, but they never lost the bones of Joseph and Jacob. Relics are important! 

So what happened to the bones of Adam? 

Jewish tradition holds that Adam was buried at Golgotha. That's why it's called Golgotha and Mount Calvary (Gk. for "skull") -- it was the resting place of Adam's skull. 

But how did Adam's bones get there? 

How Did Adam's Bones Get to Golgotha (Mount Calvary)

There is an amazing tradition among the Jews at the time of Jesus.[1] Noah confided the skull of Adam to his son, Shem - remember Shem? I told you we would circle back to Shem. 

Shem, then, passed on the skull of Adam to Melchizedek, the priest of Salem. Salem became Jeru-Salem.  

There is strong support for this tradition among the Church Fathers, as well. Saints Cyprian of Carthage [2], Jerome [3], and Ambrose [4] all make reference to Adam being buried at Calvary.

Mosaic of Melchizedek, Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna

On What Did Noah Carry the Bones of Adam?

If only Noah had built some kind of vessel ... 

Something to carry the relics of the Old World during the Great Flood ...  

Something that resembled a giant, floating coffin, maybe. If only ...

Oh, wait. He did!  

Mary is the NEW Ark of Noah

Let's think about this. If Noah passed on the skull of Adam to his son, it follows that the skull of Adam was carried inside the Ark of Noah.

Take this thought a step further. Who is the New Ark of Noah? This is Mary, who is also the New Ark of the Covenant. What did Mary, the New Ark, carry within her? Not just the skull of the New Adam, but the New Adam, himself.

For more on Mary as the New Ark, check out this article. There are just so many connections!

Here are some other notes on the Virgin Mary being the New Ark of Noah:
  • The Ark of the Covenant was covered "inside and out" in purest gold; God instructed Noah to "cover [the Ark] inside and out with pitch" (Gen 6:14)
  • God told Noah He would "bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life"; therefore, the Ark of Noah preserved "all flesh in which is the breath of life" within it (Gen 6:17). Similarly, Mary carried within her womb Jesus, "the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh" (John 6:51).
  • Both the Ark of the Covenant and Noah's Ark were measured in cubits

Meditations for Good Friday ...

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre: What Lies Beneath The Mount of Calvary?

The Church of Holy Sepulchre contains within it two of the holiest sites in Christianity: (1) Calvary or Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, and (2) the tomb (of Joseph) where Jesus was buried and, ultimately, resurrected. It contains within it four (some say five) Stations of the Cross. 

The two holy sites contained at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

There is a very special chapel beneath Calvary in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Can you guess what it's called?

The Chapel of Adam

This next part will blow your "Calvaria" ...

According to legend, at the Crucifixion, Jesus' blood ran down the Cross and through the rocks of Golgotha to fill the skull of Adam.

Yes, that's right ...

Jesus' Blood Pours Down on Adam's Skull

The Blood of the New Adam redeems the bones of the First Adam!

This is depicted in the artwork hanging in the Chapel of Adam:

In the Chapel of Adam, the Rock of Calvary appears cracked through a window on the altar wall. The crack is traditionally claimed to be caused by the earthquake that occurred when Jesus died on the cross. 

Here's an image of the cracked Rock of Calvary:

Is that not *literally* mind-blowing? 

Mary the New Ark Noah at the Cross

And who was there with Jesus at the Cross? Who never left His side? In whose arms was the body and unbroken bones of the New Adam placed? 

The Blessed Mother. She is depicted as the Pieta, holding the body of the New Adam, Jesus, in her arms, just as she once held him alive in her womb, just as the Ark carried the deceased Adam within it:

Here is the most famous sculpture form of Mary as the Pieta, Michelangelo's Pieta, which is found in St. Peter's Basilica: 

More Articles on the Jewish Roots of Holy Week:

Jesus' Passion and Crucifixion is so rich in meaning. So much of it, though, is hidden from us if we don't understand the Jewish roots of it all. 

Every detail of the ritual slaughter -- that is, crucifixion -- of the lambs in the Temple in Jerusalem points to Jesus' crucifixion. So I've written a lot on this topic. 

Check out all the articles!

Did you know we image the Passover Lamb when we kneel at the altar rail and receive the Eucharist on the tongue?

Ever wondered why Jesus curses the fig tree on Holy Monday?

This explains why the nails and the spear were used to crucify Jesus ...  

And again, Golgotha and Mt. Calvary -- who's skull was it? What is the significance of where Jesus was crucified?

Footnotes: Mary is the New Ark of Noah

[1] The Syriac writers provide the following: 
"When Noah went out of the ark there was made a distribution of the bones of Adam; to Shem, his head was given, and the place in which he was buried is called "Karkaphta": where likewise Christ was crucified."(Bar Bahluli apud Castel. Lexic. Polyglot. col. 3466.)
This word signifies a skull, as Golgotha does: and so likewise the Arabic writers affirm that Shem said these words to Melchizedek:
"Noah commanded that thou shouldst take the body of Adam, and bury it in the middle of the earth; therefore let us go, I and thou, and bury it; wherefore Shem and Melchizedek went to take the body of Adam, and the angel of the Lord appeared to them and went before them, till they came to the place Calvary, where they buried him, as the angel of the Lord commanded them." (Elmacinus, p. 13. Patricides, p. 12. apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. c. 8. p. 257.)

[2] St. Cyprian of Carthage says that it is a tradition of the ancients that Adam was buried in Calvary under the place where the cross of Christ was fixed (De Resurrectione Christi, p. 479).

[3] St. Jerome makes mention of it more than once, so Paula and Eustochium, in an epistle supposed to be dictated by him, or in which he was assisting, say in this city, meaning Jerusalem, "yea in this place, Adam is said to dwell, and to die; from whence the place where our Lord was crucified is called Calvary, because there the skull of the ancient man was buried" (Epistle Marcellae, fol. 42. L. Tom. I.). Also, in another place, Jerome himself says that he heard one disputing in the church and explaining (comment to Ephesians 5:14) of Adam buried in Calvary, where the Lord was crucified, and therefore was so called.

[4] St. Ambrose also takes note of it (Comment. in Luc. xx. 33). The place of the cross, says he, is either in the midst of the land, that it might be conspicuous to all, or over the grave of Adam, as the Hebrews dispute: others say that the hill itself was in the form of a man's skull, and therefore was so called; it was situated, as St. Jerome says (De locis Hebraicis, fol. 92. F.), on the north of Mount Zion, and is thought by some to be the same with the hill Gareb (Jeremiah 31:39).

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  1. I've also heard that Shem *is* Melchizedek.

    1. Wow - thanks for reading, Tito! It's an honor. Shem is Melchizedek? Whoa. That would be mind-blowing. Really cool.