Today is a special Day(30th May 2019). The day that reminds us of the Ascension of our Lord. The day when the Son Jesus Christ (John 17:5, Eph 1:20-21) sat on the Throne of God along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. As Jesus was also a Human Being representing all of us, we can celebrate the day when the “Man” Christ Jesus is Raised above all the heavens and rules over the world, everything that is seen and unseen. What a Glorious day to remember where it is established that God Shared his Divinity with Humanity and Man reached Heaven. This is the reason for Paul saying “seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. “(Eph 2:6)
Genesis is a book about ‘Genesis of everything’ or ‘beginning of creation.’ That’s what the name Genesis means – ‘the beginnings.’ We can call it as an Old Testament book which points to new beginnings or New Genesis in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Let us see how Genesis chapter 1 to 3 preaches the gospel.
Creation and the fall
The book starts by telling us how God made the world. Everything God made was good. Notice the word good. The first chapter repeats “and God saw that it was good” six times. Finally, it sums up the entire creation as very good. Genesis 1:31 says, “behold it was very good.” Thus the simple message in creation prose is that God made everything beautiful and perfect. There was joy everywhere. Just like it says in the book of revelation, – “there will no more be pain and tears (Revelation 21:4),” so we can say it was in the genesis of creation when God had made the world ‘good.’ Te was no pain, no death, no sickness, nor death. Creation was as heavenly as heaven is. Garden of Eden allegorically was a pointer to life and happiness of heaven (see Ezekiel 28:13, Rev 22:2, 2:7 and Luke 23:43).
Then the book of Genesis tells us about the fall of man. With fall came the curse upon the earth. God said, ‘cursed is ground for thy sakes.’ Paul says, “…whole creation was subjected to vanity because of sins, and it now groans for redemption (Romans 8:20-21).”
This fall points us to seek redemption from sin death and pain. We feel the need for messiah the saviour. The whole creation longs for redemption. Unless we realize our fall, we will not feel the need of being Healed or Restored. The sick needs the physician, not they who are whole! Therefore the fall of man ushers in a need of The Saviour. Thus begins the laying up of foundation for the gospel.
The Lamb slain
Having laid the need for the gospel, genesis then preaches the gospel to its readers. It informs us that a lamb was killed because of Adam’s sin. We read, “Unto Adam and his wife, did the Lord God make coats of skin and clothed them (Gen 3:21).” Here is the first reference made to Jesus the sacrificial Lamb of God. We can see this phrase in revelation ‘lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8).’ Because Adam sinned, God had to sacrifice an animal, in place of Adam, after the world was Created. We see God covering the nakedness of Adam with the skin of animal sacrificed. Paul says, “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Gal 3:27).” We are clothed with the skin of the lamb of God just as Adam and Eve were clothed after they committed the sin. The Lamb Jesus Christ died and clothed us with his righteousness so that we are no more naked.
Figleaves vs The Skin of the Lamb
We also see a glimpse of the human tendency to believe in the wrong gospel in the first few pages of the scriptures. Adam and Eve tried to cover their sins with the works of their own hands. It is written they sewed fig leaves together and made aprons for themselves (Genesis 3:7). God, however, clothed them with clothes of skin. One keeps wondering, why should God cover them with coats of skin if they had already made arrangement for themselves by sewing fig leaves? Adam and Eve covering their nakedness spoke allegorically of the righteousness of man’s own good works. It speaks of the tendency of the fallen human mind to seek salvation from his self strength. Man always seeks defence in righteous works of his own doing. No wonder we see so many followers of TPM, trusting in self consecration, self celibacy, self holiness as a means to gain Zion the heavenly city. They allure the masses into believing that only celibates who have not married can go close to God near his throne in Zion. However, God says “….all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf;.. (Isaiah 64:6).” Yes! Adam and Eve tried leaves to cover their sins, – leaves which fade away – or temporary righteousness of human doings. In Isaiah God says, “their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works (Isaiah 59:6).” Therefore Apostle Paul who was blameless according to the law, who was once a Pharisee trusting in his self purity, preaches the gospel saying, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Philippians. 3:9).
Therefore Adam and Eve sewing apron of fig leaves to hide their nakedness speaks of man’s tendency to seek refuge from the wrath of God, by his own righteousness. However, God clothing Adam and Eve with coats of skin shows God’s remedial arrangement for man, through the sacrifice of his own son.
Marriage and Gospel of reconciliation
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man (Genesis 2:21-22).”
We read God first created Adam and then he created Eve from the rib of Adam. Eve was formed from Adam. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.(Gen 2:23).” This was a prophecy that Church the bride of Christ will be formed out of Christ. Apostle Paul explains and calls the followers of Jesus as the body of Christ. As Eve was the body or bone of Adam, so is church the body of Christ or “flesh and blood” of Jesus. Jesus, therefore, said, “Take eat, this is my body given for you.” Then he said, “this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Thus we the church become “the flesh and blood” of Jesus or “bone of bone” of Jesus. In baptism, the old man within us dies, and the new man is born or resurrected along with the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:4-5). Thus the born-again church is a creation taken out from Jesus himself.
Therefore Genesis 2:21-22 was speaking about our baptism and communion. It spoke about our born again experience. It spoke about our reconciliation with God. We who were sinners and alienated from God are reconciled to Godhead through Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Detailed explanation to this theme is explained in Ephesians 5:22-33 (mystery of unity of husband and wife – marriage), I Corinthians 11:23-34 (communion), I Corinthians 12 (body of Jesus and gifts of spirit for edification of entire body), John 17 (Unity with God) and other passages of New Testament like Colossians 1:21.
Curse of the serpent and Identification of the Saviour
Then we all know the ubiquitously known direct promise of Messiah as the seed of woman defeating Satan. God said,
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (Genesis 3:15).
The Narrow and the Wide Gate
We see two trees in Genesis 2:9. One was a tree of life. Is there any doubt in our minds that the tree of life was allegorically pointing to the bread of life, or Jesus himself? We also see another tree the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Thus there were two gates before Adam. One led to death. God said, “ye shall not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The day you eat, you will die surely.” Another tree as the name says was the gate to life. It was called the tree of life. Jesus said I am the bread of life. Jesus is the door to eternal life. Unfortunately, Adam chose the wide gate and the broadway. It appears as if Christ had warned him – the day ye eat ye shall surely be destroyed. God was as if saying to Adam and Eve, “Enter ye in the narrow gate, for broad, is the way and wide is the gate that leads to destruction (Matt 7:13, Genesis 2:17).”
Flaming swords blocking the way to life
We also observe that cherubs with a flaming sword were kept in the garden to guard the man against eating the fruit of the tree of life and live eternally. We read, “So he drove out the man, and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life (Gen 3:22-24).”
We see the door to eternal life gets blocked (Gen 3:22). This laid foundation for the gospel that unless someone dies, the way to the tree of life remains closed. In Zechariah 13:7, we see that this sword rose against Jesus. Zechariah 13:7 reads,
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered:
When Christ was arrested to be crucified, we see Peter taking out a sword. This probably was the Sovereignty of God to remind readers of another sword prophesied in scriptures. Jesus reminded this scripture to disciples saying “All ye shall be offended of me; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and sheep of the flock will be scattered (Matthew 26:31).” When the sword smote Christ he opened the door of life for us. The writer of Hebrews says, “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh (Heb 10:20);”
To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement to sin,
AND OPENED THE LIFE-GATE THAT ALL MAY GO IN
If you are looking towards the answer to the PICTURE PUZZLE, it’s arriving shortly.