Saturday, April 18, 2009

Christ's Resurrection in Genesis

Alice C. Linsley

In celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christians contemplate the profound implications of this event in history. One way to weigh the implications is to look at the types of Christ that we find in Genesis.

In Genesis 1 God rests on the seventh day. Jesus rested in the tomb on the seventh day. In Genesis 1 we find the neat ordering of the world. In the empty tomb, Jesus' followers found the neatly folded head cloth, signaling the restoration of Paradise.

In Genesis chapter 2 we meet Adam, created to enjoy fellowship with his Creator. He is the first of his kind to die and the first to be raised in Christ. This is why icons of the Crucifixion show the skull of Adam buried under the Cross. Taking a closer look, one notes that the Blood of Jesus drips on Adam's bones. The message is clear: Adam, who represents humanity, is redeemed by the Blood of Christ.

Another type of Jesus's work is found in Abel. Our first clue that Abel is a type of the Son of God is his name. Abel means "son" (cf. Assyrian aplu or ablu which means "son"). His name could also mean El (God) is Father, in which case Abel is a short version of Abimael אֲבִימָאֵל - my father is God.

We note also that Abel was a shepherd (Gen. 4:2) who offered an acceptable sacrifice (Gen. 4: 4-5). This also points us to Jesus Christ. Then there are additional details: Abel was killed by his brother outside the settlement, just as Jesus was killed by his fellow Jews outside Jerusalem. We are pointed to Calvary when we are told that Abel's blood called to the Father from the ground (Gen. 4:10) and God heard and undertook judgment upon Cain, expelling him, but preserving his life. Likewise, God heeds the Blood of Jesus and mixes justice and mercy in His dealing with us.

Abel was a shepherd who offered an acceptable offering. The shepherd-priest motif that we first find with Abel continues with Abraham who kept flocks and dug wells to support them. He also offered sacrifices that were acceptable to God. Likewise, Jethro, the Priest of Midian, whose daughter drew water for his flocks, offered sacrifices to God. Jethro was Moses' father-in-law. The shepherd-priest motif continues with David who tended his father's flocks and offered sacrifices that were accepted at the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. The motif culminates in Joachim, the Virgin Mary's father, a priest and a shepherd. As blood line was figured through the mother, Jesus has a priestly lineage.

Finally, in Genesis 3:15, we read that the One to be born of Woman will be bruised by the serpent but will crush the serpent's head. Jesus' crucifixion was mortal bruising. His resurrection crushed the serpent's head. By death He has trampled down death and delivers us from the grave. He restores sinners to Paradise/communion with God. Alleluia!

"Thy Resurrection, Oh Christ My Savior, the angels in Heaven sing! Enable us on Earth to Glorify Thee in purity of heart!"


Tim and Rebecca said...

Interesting. Seems like in this you should include Abraham receiving Isaac back as if from the dead at Mt. Moriah. Probably of all the types and foreshadowings the most powerful. "Take your son, your only son, whom you love." and the Hebrews commentary: 11.19: "Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death." Very effective focus on Genesis. I will keep this site handy. Thank you.

Alice C. Linsley said...

For Abraham the Hebrew the provision of a ram on Mt. Moriah meant that God would provide His own Son for the sacrifice in the future. Abraham believed the sign and he was justified. All are justified on the same basis: belief in Jesus, the Son of God.