Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Risen Son Claims You!

Alice C. Linsley

On Good Friday the Deceiving Worm struck Christ's “heel” and Christ crushed the Worm's head. The disobedience of the First Eve is reversed by the Second Eve, the Blessed Theotokos. The evil one can never claim that God has used the advantage of divinity against him since he is defeated by a humble woman whose will cooperated with God’s will to bring forth the Incarnate One.

Having raised His Only Begotten to life from death, God honors the Son in a great wedding feast. He claims his bride. She belongs to Him for He has bought her by His shed blood. It is a bride price of immeasurable value.

Among Abraham’s people, the firstborn son of the cousin-bride belonged to the bride’s father’s household while the bride belonged to her husband’s household. Cultural anthropologist, Claude Levi-Strauss, noted this arrangement (1949) and observed that mother and child do not belong to the same clan in a patrilineal society. This pattern of the cousin-wife belonging to her husband's household, and her firstborn son belonging to her father's household, is the background behind important claims of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the only begotten of the Father by the Virgin Mary. Mary was a cousin to Joseph, so technically Jesus belonged to the household of Mary's shepherd-priest father Joachim. Mary, the virgin bride of Zion, is the fulfillment of the promises made in Genesis and throughout the Old Testament. She is the foremost saint, and through her comes the Son who is of the same essence as the Eternal Father and belonging to the priestly lines that are traced from Eden.

St. Paul tells us that the Resurrection is the ultimate proof that Jesus belongs to the Father. He also tells us that through the Holy Spirit we receive the spirit of “sonship.” In other words, the Only Begotten claims us as his inheritance and seals the claim by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

What is the significance of belonging to the first born of the Father? Again, we gain insight by exploring the cultural pattern of Abraham’s people. The firstborn son received all the maternal grandfather 's or father’s possessions, territories, title and authority. Paul tells us that the saints are “joint heirs” with Christ. That means we who are redeemed share all equally with Christ our Lord and King.

Jesus means “God Saves” because in His Resurrection He tramples down death and breaks the chains that bind sinners. He claims those who He redeems, spoiling the devil.

According to the genealogical pattern, Jesus belongs to his mother’s clan. This is how the promise of Genesis 3:14 and 15 comes to be fulfilled. “And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”

The journey that began when Abraham left his father’s house in obedience to the Lord, has led Abraham’s spiritual children to the Eternal Father’s house where we share in the inheritance of the Only Begotten. We can hardly comprehend this great mercy whereby Christ our God condescends to save us sinners, but we rejoice that the Only Begotten of the Father claims us and permits us to share in His victory over death!

Related reading: The Deceiving Worm; Good Friday: Do Not Flee; The Horite Marriage and Ascendancy Pattern; The Virgin Mary's Ancestry


Linda M said...

Interesting blog! May the Lord bless you and your work here.

Your insights here have added new shades of meaning to the story of our Lord and his bringing of salvation. As to the naming of the first son for the mother's father - do you mean that this was common? The naming of Jesus' cousin John seems to contradict this idea. John would have been named for his father, not maternal grandfather, until Zacharias spoke up. The family wonders that he would select the name John because it was not a family name. Of course it has been a long time since Abraham. Perhaps the custom had changed?

I am not sure why I believe this but I thought "Jesus" was a common name at the time. Not true? If Mary's son was to be named for His father - well that would not be "Jesus" but the unspeakable name for God. The Jews would never have done such a thing, so I don't see how the name could have been intended by the humans involved to be the namesake of God the Father. Gabriel made clear that Jesus was to be the name. Clearly, God picked the name and perhaps you mean that He understood this to be in the tradition of Abraham's people.

Also, please help me understand the purpose of the other geneology which I'm told shows that Jesus is of the legal lineage of David through Joseph (Matthew). I thought that this was to indicate that official lineage was through the father, therefore, Luke shows us that Jesus is decended from David in the legal sense as a child in Joseph's household.

You reference Genesis to show that Jesus belongs to the "mother's clan" meaning He is decended from Eve. Well, so is everyone. Also, I think we must be careful to remember that our salvation is a work of God the Father through and with God the Son and not the work of Mary. Yes Mary cooperated in bringing forth the "incarnate one" but Mary did not defeat the evil one. As to the devil having any right to object that it might be unfair that divinity was used to defeat him, he has no such right and divinity plus humanity in the person of Jesus Christ did defeat him. Satan is a creature and may no more say "no fair" to God than Job.

Okay, there you have my comments and questions. I look forward to being corrected!

Alice C. Linsley said...

Linda, You are asking very significant questions. I'm going to respond to you in my next posting, as I'm sure that others have similar or related questions.