In the last episode, we saw the Gospel in the first three chapters of Genesis. We continue from where we left. Bible says that Adam was a pointer to Jesus (Rom 5:14 – a figure of him who was to come). Apostle Paul calls Jesus as Adam or last Adam. See how Adam and Jesus are compared in the below table
|Adam was the son of God (Luke 3:38)||Jesus is also the son of God (Matt 16:16)|
|Eve was taken out of Adam while asleep||The church is taken out of Jesus, from his death on the cross (Rom 6:3-5, Eph 2:10,4:24)|
|Was earthly (made of dust)||Jesus is heavenly (I Corinthians 15:47)|
|We are created in the similitude of Adam||We are created in likeness and image of Son of God – Jesus|
|Adam the living soul – the first man||Jesus the last Adam or second man, a quickening Spirit (I Corinthians 15:45)|
Gospel in the story of Cain and Abel
Next, in Genesis, we are told of the story of Cain and Abel. Bible Eve conceived and gave birth to Cain and Abel. Because through Adam, the son came into the world, therefore both Cain and Abel were sinners in sight of God (Rom 5:12, 19; Gen 5:1, 3, Job 14:4, 25:4, Psalms 51:5). Note that Genesis 5:1 says, Cain and Abel were born in the image of Adam. Image of Adam is marred in this case. After committing a sin, he lost the image of God. Therefore it is noteworthy that Cain and Abel were born in the fallen image or corrupted image of God (Gen 5:1). This also challenges the ubiquitously quoted phrase that we mankind is an image of God. Because although God had created us in his image we have corrupted that image and we inherit fallen image of Adam and not the image of God (unless we are born again in the image of the son of God, who is the express image of the Father).
One day Cain brought fruits of the ground as offering unto Lord. Abel likewise brought firstling of flock and fat thereof. God accepted Abel’s offering but not of Cain. Then Cain killed Abel. We are normally taught that God respected Abel’s offering because Abel brought first fruit while Cain brought not the first part but second part or normal offering. Christian gurus use this often times to make us believe in the importance of tithes and offering so that they can reap benefits from our devotion. Few others imagine that reason why God accepted Abel’s sacrifice in comparison to Cain was that God likes the smell of burnt fat. Just because we prefer chicken mutton and non-veg over vegetarian food, these people think God is the same way who is pleased in the non-veg offering. However as the main focus of bible or message of God is making people believe in Jesus, therefore it is not any rocket science to come to the conclusion that Abel’s acceptance has to do with the sacrifice of the lamb. It clearly says that Abel was the keeper of sheep. Abel offered his lamb in acknowledgment to the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. We need only be blind to not see it. Cain, on the other hand, tried to circumvent that by offering good fruits of his farmland. He actually is a symbol of those Pentecostals who try to please God with tithes and their religiosity. Abel had the faith of Jesus. His faith was counted as righteousness (Heb 11:4, Rom 4:3). Cain showed faith in self-righteousness.
How did Abel come to know about the sacrifice and blood of the lamb? Jonathan Edwards says that it was probably Adam and Eve who told their children, about how God clothed their nakedness by sacrificing the animal. God told the gospel to Adam and Eve, and they probably propagated it to their children.
It is also mentioned that Abel was the keeper of sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground. In plain speech, Abel was a shepherd and Cain was a farmer. The above analogy should not be construed in any way that animal husbandry is better than farming. Jesus used both professions viz of “field workers” and “shepherds” as pointers to “preachers of God’s word (Mark 4:14, John 21:17).”. The scope should not be extended beyond the focussed incident.
Martyrdom and spread of the faith
It is a famous saying “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.” When Christ was crucified, the church was revealed. Christianity flourished in greater amount after the crucifixion of Christ compared to the time when Christ was alive. Martyrs blood in the first century led to widespread expansion of Christianity. It was martyrdom of Stephen, which brought conversion of Saul to Paul. The rest is history. Jesus said, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24). When innocent children of Israelites were ordered to be killed, they multiplied and waxed mighty (Read Exodus 1:16, 20). Similarly, when Cain killed one righteous Abel, God gave Seth to Adam and Eve, and the in days of children of Seth (Enos the son born to Seth), men began to call on the name of LORD. The phrase “calling upon the name of the Lord” is used in Acts by Peter. He says, “whosoever shall call on the name of Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21).” So in Genesis, we read, that from days of Enos the son of Seth, men began to “call the name of the Lord (Gen 4:26).” It appears that blood of martyr Abel was the seed for spreading of the name of Lord on earth. It pointed to gospel flourishing with the martyrdom of Christ and his followers.
Gospel in the story of Enoch
One of the important parts of the Christian gospel is a resurrection or attaining immortality. Paul says if there is no resurrection then the Christian faith is miserable. Then Christ died in vain. Then gospel is meaningless (I Corinthians 15:14,16-29). Hence resurrection from the dead or being taken up in heaven is an inseparable part of Gospel. Paul preached resurrection as part of his gospel message (Acts 17:18). Enoch’s translation by faith (Heb 11:5), was a pointer to our gathering in heaven at the coming of Christ. It was a type of victory over death by faith.
Bible scholars of Hebrew say “Methuselah” means man of javelin or man of death. Another interpretation is “when he dies, he shall send death. (check here).” Probably it was Enoch’s walking with God that God inspired Enoch to preach judgment to people by naming his son Methuselah or man who will send death after his death. Maybe, we are wrong and Methuselah had nothing to do with judgment. However, Enoch’s case and Abel’s names, does appear is a list of people who are a witness for us about salvation through faith (see Hebrews 11).
With this, we end our part 2 of Gospel in Genesis series. We will come with part 3 of the Gospel in Genesis in the next episode.