Saturday, May 25, 2013

Christ vs. Adam - Part Three - "It is not good for the man to be alone."


Throughout the Genesis account of creation, God repeatedly declared that what He had made was "good" (Gen. 1:4, Gen. 1:10, Gen. 1:12, Gen. 1:18, Gen. 1:21, Gen. 1:25, Gen. 1:31).

Then we come to Genesis 2:18"It is not good for the man to be alone."  This is the only time God declares something as "not good".  Up until that point, Adam had no one to talk to other than God, no one to share himself with.  No one like him who could share in his experiences.  While he had a direct intimacy with God, he wanted intimacy with another of his kind.  All around him, every creature had a mate.  Except for him.

When God presents Eve to Adam for the first time, his reaction is, "at last!" (Gen. 2:23).  We don't know how long he had been alone in the Garden.  Apparently long enough to name the beasts (Gen. 2:19).  I imagine him gazing over all the creatures, looking for one like him and finding none.  Even though he was in communion with God, God is not a fellow man.  Seeing Adam's heart, God knew it was "not good" for him to be alone.  Perhaps Adam was perplexed.  Perhaps he asked God, "Why is there none like me?"

I believe the Lord wanted Adam to feel that sense of "alone-ness".  Being as it was the Garden of Eden before the Fall, I can't say whether sadness and loneliness had entered the scene yet.  Adam would have had emotions.  Maybe whatever emotion he felt about being alone wasn't what we think of today.  Sadness and grief are byproducts of our fallen world.  Therefore Adam might have been confused or inquisitive as to why there was no companion suitable for him.

But God made a way; He put Adam to sleep and took one of his ribs to make a woman - Eve (Gen. 2:21-22).

I imagine Adam must have been enthralled with her.  She was like him, but UNlike him as well, as she was female.  He would have wanted to know everything about her, show her the Garden, and teach her about himself.  He would have felt such adoration for her, knowing that Yahweh created her specifically for him.


As I have covered in part one of my study between Christ vs. Adam, we can clearly see the parallels to Christ's crucifixion in the Genesis account. Both Adam and Christ were put to "sleep", both Adam and Christ had their sides opened.  From both Adam and Christ, a new creation was born.  To Adam, a woman - Eve.  To Christ, a symbolic "woman" - the Church.

Through the Apostle Paul, we are called the Body of Christ (Romans 12:5).  Christ called Himself the Bridegroom (Mark 2:20) and John the Baptist called Him the Bridegroom as well, and even went a little further, as the "one who has the Bride" (John 3:29).

The Bride of Christ was a mystery hidden in the OT.  We see the Bride/Bridegroom metaphor rampant through the Song of Solomon, and we also find reference in Joel 2:16, Jeremiah 16:9, & Isaiah 62:5.  Since I'm a firm believer that all the themes in the Bible ultimately lead back to Song of Solomon, my hunch is that Christ called Himself the Bridegroom for this purpose -- for people to see and understand that this sensual little book spoke of HIM.  Of course, no one would know the meaning of this mystery until after the Church was born.  Until Christ was crucified, she didn't yet exist.


It's interesting to me that Eve was the final thing God created in Genesis.  The earth and stars had been formed, the plant life, all the creatures, and man.  But woman was the final touch.  Perhaps, even, His crowning achievement (as many women have joked).  Regardless of that, there is no doubt the Church is Christ's Crowning achievement.  Ultimately, the CHURCH is the "final" creation.  Made long after the 7th day of rest.

When a believer is born again, they become a "new creation", the old has gone, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).  The Spirit of God comes into their hearts and makes their body His temple (1 Cor 3:16, 1 Cor. 6:19).  They now hate the sin they once loved, and love the righteousness they once hated (Psalm 45:7).  Their hearts, in other words, have been made in the image of Christ.

The redemption of mankind is more than mere forgiveness of sin.  While that is a big part of it, salvation goes well beyond getting your foot inside Heaven's gate.  I've mentioned before on this blog to love Christ passionately and reverently, to view Him as your treasure, and to realize that Heaven is Heaven because HE is there.  Comparing Christ to Adam, we can then understand God's intention behind creation, and comprehend the biggest question we have likely ever asked.

Why?


It is not good for the man to be alone.

It is not good for God to be alone.

The meaning of life, the universe, and everything, is that God is creating a companion for Himself.

I have heard it preached that God is Triune, and as such, loves within Himself perfectly.  The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, the Spirit loves the Son, the Father loves the Spirit, etc.  While that is all very good, God knows Himself.  God knows all.  But God, like Adam, wants a companion to SHARE Himself with.  God is the pinnacle of love, wisdom, knowledge, beauty, joy, happiness, contentment, and companionship.  But without anyone to share Himself with, He remains largely unknown.

Not even the angels enjoy such a relationship with Him.  The angels were created as ministering spirits for us (Hebrews 1:13-14).  The angels worship before the Throne of God while covering their faces (Isaiah 6:2).  Even the angels, with the righteousness they have, cannot look upon God, nor commune with Him in the way He wants to share Himself.  They sing "Holy, holy, holy!" (Revelation 4:8), and are forever reverent of His holiness.  But none are *intimate* with Him.  None of them have His UN-created righteousness.

Here's what's hard to wrap our minds around.  In order for God to make Himself a suitable companion who would be righteous and yet intimate with Him in the way He wished, He needed to give this companion HIS OWN UN-created righteousness, or else this companion would be just like the angels -- unable to get closer to Him intimately due to His immaculate holiness.  God has no beginning and no end.  He Himself is UN-created.  Therefore, He cannot create a being with His UN-created righteousness.  He must make a way to give this companion His righteousness legally, within the boundaries of His Own Law.  He would be unjust if He gave it to us on a whim.  But by following His Own Law by becoming a man through Yeshua Messiah, He can then legally give us His UN-created righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21), thereby making us the companion He has longed for since the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).

I touched on this somewhat in my blog post "Who is like You, O Lord?"  God is very fond of saying in the OT that there is none like Him.  However, in 1 John 3:2, Scripture clearly states that WE will be LIKE HIM.  Through the coming Resurrection (commonly known as the Rapture), Christ returns for His Church and glorifies her (Romans 8:17, Romans 8:30), giving her His very nature (2 Peter 1:4), completing her salvation (Philippians 1:6), and taking her to Heaven to forever be with Him (John 14:1-3, 1 Thess. 4:17).

We are, therefore, Christ's glorious inheritance (Ephesians 1:18), and He is ours (Rev. 2:26-28, Rev. 22:16, Song of Solomon 2:16).


He gives us an unparalleled privilege - one that is unthinkable to the angels - we get to sit ON His Throne - Revelation 3:21.

In putting all of these pieces together, we can see answers to the mystery behind it all.  Christ did save us from Hell.  He did save us from our sins and redeemed us.  And He did cover us with His righteousness.  But on that day we're raised incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:52), we become like the resurrected Christ.  We become God's Bride, His companion above the angels, one "like Him", that He foreshadowed all throughout creation.


God is infinite and eternal.  As such, He is able to give ALL of Himself to each one of His children.  This is not a "blanket" salvation for a "corporate Bride", but rather, a very personal and intimate relationship between Yeshua and EACH of His beloveds.

Ultimately, God is creating a companion for Himself, one who can share in Him, fully know Him, and be like Him.  Love isn't love unless one shares oneself with another.  God is Love.  And He wishes to share Himself with every member of His Church.  This "Bride" metaphor is for both men and women.  The Apostles got it -- and they were all men.  God is actively creating a NEW creation that is like Him, and that, dear Christian, takes my breath away.

Heaven will not be a boring church service while strumming harps and sitting on clouds.  Heaven will be exploring the heights, depths, widths, and eternities of God Almighty, experiencing Him while seated WITH Him (Ephesians 2:6).  All the best God has to offer is ours, even now.  While we are not yet "married" to Christ, we are betrothed to Him, "one flesh" as the singular Body of Christ.  According to Heaven, it is done, however yet to come to pass.

This is our inheritance.  This is our identity.  Claim it for yourself and plunge into God's Living Water head-first and never emerge.  YOU are His beloved Bride.  YOU are the companion He has longed for in eternity past.  And YOU, my brothers and sisters, are in for a GLORIOUS future.

Praise His Mighty Name!  \O/



~~Becka

Friday, May 17, 2013

Christ vs. Adam - Part Two - Drawing Parallels

In part two of my study of Christ vs. Adam, I'm going to go through all the parallels I could think of between the two.  As I mentioned in my first study, 1 Corinthians 15:45 mentions Christ as the "second Adam" or the "last Adam".  Because of that, we can see definitive parallels in their accounts, with Adam bringing death to all men, and Christ bringing Life to all who believe.


There will be a part three of this study, as there is so much richness in these parallels, that I want to cover it all.  Part three will be a study on how the Church fits in with Christ as the last Adam.  It's fascinating to say the least.  But for now, here are the similarities between Adam and Christ, along with Scripture for reference.  To keep the length of this post down, I will link Scripture to Bible Gateway.  This might not be an exhaustive list.  I only mention what I could glean myself.  There might be more parallels, and if so, you're welcome to mention any you can think of in the comments.

~*~*~

ADAM -- MADE IN GOD'S IMAGE - Genesis 1:26
CHRIST -- GAVE CHURCH GOD'S NATURE - 2 Corinthians 5:21, 2 Peter 1:4


ADAM -- KING OF EARTH  - Genesis 1:28
CHRIST -- KING OF HEAVEN (AND EARTH) - Philippians 2:10


ADAM -- GARDEN OF EDEN - Genesis 2:15
CHRIST -- GARDEN OF THE HEART/ULTIMATELY HEAVEN - Songs 4:16, Revelation 2:7


ADAM -- HE WAS STILL RIGHTEOUS WHEN EVE WAS TAKEN FROM HIS SIDE - Genesis 2:21
CHRIST -- EVER RIGHTEOUS WHEN THE SPEAR PIERCED HIS SIDE - John 19:34


ADAM -- NAKED WHEN THE RIB CAME OUT (TO GLORY HIM) - Genesis 2:22-24
CHRIST -- NAKED ON THE CROSS (TO SHAME HIM) - John 19:23-24


ADAM -- TILLED THE GARDEN - Genesis 2:15
CHRIST -- DRESSES THE HEART-GARDEN - Songs 5:1


ADAM -- ATE FROM THE FRUIT OF THE GARDEN - Genesis 2:9
CHRIST -- BELOVED COMPARED TO AN APPLE TREE - Songs 2:3


ADAM -- EVE TAKEN FROM HIS FLESH, THEREFORE SHE IS HIS "SISTER" - Genesis 2:23
CHRIST -- SPOUSE IN SONGS IS CALLED THE BELOVED'S "SISTER" - Songs 4:9


ADAM -- EVE WAS FLESH OF HIS FLESH - Genesis 2:23
CHRIST -- CHURCH IS SPIRIT OF HIS SPIRIT - Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:11


ADAM -- WIFE IS EVE - Genesis 2:24
CHRIST -- WIFE IS CHURCH (SECOND EVE) - Revelation 19:7


ADAM -- DIDN'T FIGHT FOR EVE - Genesis 3:6
CHRIST -- FOUGHT FOR HIS CHURCH - MADE SURE HE WAS CRUCIFIED FOR HER - Mark 14:62-63, Mark 15:2-3


ADAM -- ATE FORBIDDEN FRUIT; RIGHTEOUSNESS LOST - Genesis 3:7
CHRIST -- EATS PRODUCING FRUIT; RIGHTEOUSNESS RESTORED - Songs 4:16


ADAM -- KNEW THEY WERE NAKED, CONDEMNATION, HIDING, FEAR, INTIMACY LOST - Genesis 3:10
CHRIST -- "NO MORE CONDEMNATION", OPEN, FAITH, CONFIDENCE, INTIMACY RESTORED - Matthew 11:28, Romans 8:1


ADAM -- THE GROUND BRINGS FORTH THORNS AND THISTLES IN HIS SORROW - Genesis 3:18
CHRIST -- BORE THORNS AND THISTLES UPON HIS BROW, TAKING OUR SORROW - Matthew 27:29


ADAM -- KICKED OUT OF THE GARDEN - Genesis 3:24
CHRIST -- ALLOWS BACK IN TO THE GARDEN - Songs 4:12-16


ADAM -- FORBIDDEN TO EAT OF THE TREE OF LIFE - Genesis 3:24
CHRIST -- NAILED TO THE TREE OF LIFE - Mark 15:25


ADAM -- BROUGHT SIN AND DEATH - Romans 5:12
CHRIST -- BROUGHT REDEMPTION AND LIFE - 1 Corinthians 15:22


ADAM -- DIED, STILL DEAD - Genesis 5:5
CHRIST -- DIED, ROSE AGAIN, VERY MUCH ALIVE - Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1

~*~*~

It's interesting to see how they're alike and how they're different, with Christ redeeming what Adam gave away.  When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they gave their kingship of the earth to the enemy.  Christ came to restore humanity, but He went much further than that.  In order to restore us, He had to give us a piece of Himself, making us a new creation.  Man united with God.  We are born again of His Spirit; renewed and remade so that not only our bodies are made in His image, but our hearts and souls as well.  Praise the Lord.



~~Becka

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Christ vs. Adam - Part One - The Garden

My studies through Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and various Biblical themes (dove/lily/garden) have convinced me that most themes in the Bible lead back to Song of Songs.  Songs is often referenced as "the Holy of holies" of the Bible.  I firmly believe this.  Song of Solomon, in my opinion, is the key to understanding God's message in the entire Bible.

Some people gloss over Songs because it's uncomfortable for them.  It is a highly sensual book.  But it is an allegory between Christ (the Beloved) and His Church (the spouse).  The depth of intimacy Christ wants with us parallels that of lovers.  Passionate.  Fiery.  Longing.  Anticipation.  Excitement.  Joy.  Bliss.

This cannot be fully encompassed by phileo (brotherly/friendship), storge (familial), or agape (unconditional/selfless) love.  This kind of love has a touch of eros (romance), we cannot deny it.  Lovers know every detail about each other.  Every inch, every secret.  Every hope, dream, and delight.  This is the foundation of the First Great Commandment.  God wants more than lip service, He wants it all, every piece of ourselves: our hearts, our souls, our minds, even our very strength.  This is passionate love.

In part two of my Christ vs. Adam study, I will delve a bit deeper into that passionate love.  For now, I want to explore some parallels between Christ and Adam.

Scripture calls Christ the Second Adam (or the last Adam) in 1 Corinthians 15:45.  The idea is that what Adam failed to do, Christ accomplished.  What Adam gave away, Christ restored.  Adam brought death; Christ brings Life.

Let's take a look at Adam.


The first man God ever created was placed in a garden.  The main theme in Song of Solomon is the garden.  It is allegory for our hearts, where God wishes to be intimate with us.  In the Genesis account, Adam and Eve walked with God intimately.  They were unashamed of their nakedness, and were allowed fully into God's presence.  They were innocent.  Sin had yet to enter the world.

The serpent deceived Adam's wife, and they disobeyed God, eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  They hid from God, as their newly begotten sin nature had them cowering before His holiness.  Intimacy was broken.  No longer could they stay in the garden, lest they eat from the Tree of Life and thus live forever in their sin.  

Paradise was lost; Adam and Eve had to fend for themselves without God.  I often imagine the heartache they must have gone through, knowing what they had given up, knowing they could never again walk with their Creator as they once had.  Adam had no idea how to farm.  But he just got thrown into the deep end of the pool.  He had to fend for himself and his wife.  I wonder how many hungry nights they had before they had food again?  How hard was it to build that first shelter?  Imagine the bitter barbs they must have slung at each other, blaming the other for the Fall.  Eve, livid that Adam accused her before Yahweh without taking the blame; Adam incensed that she gave him the fruit in the first place.  It must have been very hard to deal with their new fallen nature.

But considering this story with the story of Christ, and the knowledge that He's the second Adam, I got a burst of insight during prayer.  

Adam and Eve were betrayed in a garden.

So, too, was Christ.


John 18:2 mentions that Christ and His disciples met in the Garden of Gethsemane often.  It was a place of intimacy.  A place to get away from the crowds and enjoy the lovely scenery.  Again, we see the parallel to the Beloved's garden in Song of Solomon. 

While it's likely Adam and Eve were betrayed during the daytime (as it's usually day when God illuminates wisdom), it was night when Christ was betrayed (as it's usually night when there's a lack of wisdom, or when evil creeps in.)  For example, Christ, the Light of the World, was born at night.  Very fitting, as "darkness" was prevalent in the world.  Since Adam and Eve were still innocent (until the serpent tempted them), it was likely day when it happened.  And Christ rose from the dead as the Morning Star, in the light of a new day.

We see Christ's agony as He wept in Gethsemane.  He took Peter, James, and John with Him to watch and pray, but they couldn't stay awake.  He was alone.  The weight of sin weighed heavily upon Him, and He faced God's wrath for the very first time.  The fear in His heart was almost more than He could take.  Sweat as drops of blood fell to the ground.  His face was in the dirt.  Our Lord was "full of sorrow, as unto death" (Mark 14:34).  I don't think "sorrow" is a very powerful word.  Yeshua was suffering.  He was crushedAnguishedDevastated.

Unlike Adam, He had no Eve to comfort Him.



His sorrow was so great, an angel had to minister to His soul in order to strengthen Him (Luke 22:42-44). 

I believe this was the SECOND time Yeshua agonized in a garden.  Knowing what we know of Christ, that it was He who appeared to men before His incarnation as the Word of God, it would have been Yeshua, therefore, who drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden.  Knowing what we know of the heart of Christ, casting His masterpieces from His presence would have been a sharp pain indeed for the God of love that wishes nothing but intimacy from those made in His Image.  His holiness demanded wrath, but mercy stayed His hand, and His love made a way of peace through His cross thousands of years later.

In Gethsemane, Judas betrays Christ with a kiss - in the midst of their intimate garden, the one paralleling the Beloved's garden from Songs.  He was betrayed by a feigned love, a counterfeit adoration.  Can you not see the ugliness of this blasphemy?  Satan knows well the parallels of this garden, to Eden, to Songs, and uses Judas to KISS Yeshua on the cheek.  "You're going to die," the serpent hisses into His ear.  "Here's my 'token' of devotion, Son of God!"

Oh, the tears in my eyes even now...



In Eden, Adam and Eve were cast out to face the justice of God.
In Gethsemane, God was cast out to face the justice of man.

What's interesting about these two accounts is that Gethsemane *mirrors* Eden.  The events that lead up to Calvary are the opposite to Adam's events that led him astray.

In Adam's account he was created by God.  He was put to sleep and the woman was created from his rib.  Eve is then betrayed by the serpent.  They both eat of the fruit and hide from God's presence before they are cast out of the Garden.

In Christ's account, He suffered greatly and tried to "hide" from God's wrath by asking for this cup to pass from Him.  He was cast out of the Garden and betrayed by His "close friend".  Then, He was killed upon the cross (put to sleep), pierced in His side thus birthing the Church (like Adam's rib), and finally making a NEW creation: humanity united with God.

Now, through Christ's glorious sacrifice, we are allowed back in to the Garden of Intimacy.  We have a renewed communion with the King of Glory.  Our hearts have become the new Eden, and our Beloved comes into His garden to eat His pleasant fruits (Songs 4:16).  This is the abundant life He promised (John 10:10).  Our God, this God, this amazing, all-powerful God, endured such acute agony to purchase our souls from the depths of the grave. 

Therefore my kisses for Him shall never be blasphemous, but full of absolute, uninhibited adoration.  Praise the Lord!

~~Becka