Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jesus in Genesis: God with Us!

Alice C. Linsley

The Incarnation of the Son of God is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, specifically Isaiah 7:14. He is called "Immanuel" - God with us. God is with us in Jesus Christ, the fulfullment of the the first promise and prophesy of the Bible: Genesis 3:15. This promise was made to the "Woman" concerning her Seed who would crush the serpent's head and restore Paradise. Note that the promise doesn't concern Eve as Eve is not named until 5 verses later. Jesus Christ fulfills the Edenic Promise. This promise was made to Abraham's Kushite ancestors in Eden.

Jesus is both foretold and symbolized throughout the book of Genesis.  He is evident in the study of trees, mountains, water, and in the unique kinship pattern of Abraham's Horite people by which the ruler-priest Son receives a kingdom from His Father.

Jesus' celestial pattern is evident in many figures of the Old Testament: Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David and in the women who prefigure the Virgin Mary, especially Oholibamah and Ruth. So why do many Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah?  The celestial pattern involves the coming down of God to earth and to human existence. The Creator condescends to grant to the lesser a greater role. So it is that a young maiden, from the least of the tribes of Israel, should become the unwedded Bride of God and the ever-virgin Mother of Christ our God.

Jews reject this belief because they elevate the the Law above the Prophets and the Talmud above the Pentateuch.

Judaism concludes that the Major and Minor Prophets are subordinate to the Law of Moses on the basis of Malachi 3:22, which reads: “Remember the Torah of Moses, my servant, which I commanded him at Horeb for all of Israel – its decrees and statutes.” Maimonides quoted this verse in the Mishneh Torah as a proof that prophets are not to be interpreted as bringing new teaching, but should be understood as warning people not to trespass Torah.

Many Jews insist on this, though critical biblical scholarship has demonstrated that the Torah and the Prophets "are separate corpora originating in the same time period" (Jewish Study Bible, p. 1144). Study of the biblical texts does not support the view of Torah as synonymous with the law codex associated with Moses. Instead it recognizes torah as the instruction of the prophet, which is the earlier meaning of Torah. "Torah" means that which is thrown by the hand of the moreh (oracle or prophet). Abraham received guidance when he pitched his tent at the Oak of Moreh. The word "torah" is usually rendered guidance or instruction, but it has an ancient association with a prophet sitting under a tree. Abraham consulted a moreh/prophet at the Oak in Mamre and  Deborah sat at a palm tree between Ramah and Bethel. (A study of trees in Genesis points us to Jesus Christ.)

If we are to understand Torah in this broader and more ancient context, we must conclude that God has not ceased to provide instruction and that the litmus test of true torah is whether it points to the fulfillment of the first prophecy in Genesis 3:15 concerning the Woman's Seed. Therefore, it is to be noted that Malachi 3:23 states:  "Behold! I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and awesome Day of the Lord's coming." Jesus' Apostles recognized that this was fulfilled in the person of John the Forerunner.

Personally, I'm glad that God sent us more than the Tablets of Law; that He sent His only begotten Son in fulfillment of the Prophets, the Law and the Bible's first promise.  One day I hope to bow before the Lord Christ Jesus and kiss His feet!  To kiss Him in the flesh is preferable to kissing tablets of stone. His adoration restores Paradise.

Related reading:  The Christ in Nilotic MythologyChallenge to Shaye Cohen's Portrayal of Abraham; Sons and 'The Son'; Who was Oholibamah?; The Testimony of Blessed John, Forerunner; The Talmud vs the Doctrine of the Lord; Gender Reversal and Sacred Mystery


Georgia said...

I am also thankful for the Incarnate Word, whose blood is efficacious in my behalf.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm grateful as well, though think that being in the presence of the Triune God--even at a great "distance", if that word has any meaning after death--is not an entirely comforting thought. Best, Brent

Alice C. Linsley said...

God is good. God is love. His mercies abound daily and extend beyond time and space.