Friday, May 23, 2008

Three Pictures of Christ in Genesis - Part 3

Our third picture is seen in a two-fold fashion by using the story of Abraham and Isaac. First, we see Isaac portrayed as, “the one and only son”, to be sacrificed. We also find a correlation in the three-day journey of Abraham and his son Isaac, as three days in the tomb. We must here understand that Isaac was “dead” in the eyes of his father from the moment God asked Abraham to sacrifice him. Therefore, the three day trip would symbolize the three days in the tomb and God sparing him from Abraham’s knife is equivalent to the resurrection of Christ in that Isaac was “resurrected” from the sacrifice his father had made earlier by obeying God. We find something else note-worthy in Genesis 22:3, “And Abraham rose up early in the morning…” (KJV) Here, we find no hesitation in Abraham in sacrificing his son, just as we find no hesitation in God to sacrifice His Son. God went ahead and created the earth and man, knowing from the beginning that the sacrifice of His son would have to be made. Adam Clarke points out two more parallels in that, “Isaac carried the wood for the burnt-offering, (Gen 22:6), so Christ carried the tree whereon he died, (John 19:17); the binding of Isaac, (Gen 22:9), was also typical, so Christ was bound, (Matt 27:2).”[1]

As I said that this was two-fold in this story, the second picture we find from Abraham and Isaac is in the ram. Abraham tells Isaac in Genesis 22:8, “God himself will provide the lamb…” (NIV) We see that indeed, God did provide the sacrifice that day and years later, we believe on that same mountain, in the form of His “One and Only Son”. Matthew Henry says, “Christ was sacrificed in our stead, as this ram instead of Isaac, and his death was our discharge. "Here am I (said he,) let these go their way."”[2] Although Isaac gives us a picture of Christ, we know that there was no way that Isaac could have atoned for our sins and therefore, we had to have the real and perfect sacrificial lamb, Jesus, our Savior.


[1] Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft. (Genesis 22:4)
[2] Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. (Gen 22:11-14)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Three Pictures of Christ in Genesis - Part 2

To look for a picture of Jesus as “The Christ”, we can go to Genesis 3:15 or Genesis 3:21. I will skip 3;15 and use 3:21 as a picture. Genesis 3:21, “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (NIV) Although there is no direct statement of where the “skins” came from, it is only logical to assume that the death of an animal had to have occurred. Again from Adam Clarke we read, “It is very likely that the skins out of which their clothing was made were taken off animals whose blood had been poured out as a sin-offering to God…”[1] In hindsight, we see this very clearly as a picture of Jesus as “The Christ”. Another commentary tells us, “The Hebrew [kaat¬™nowt (OT:3801) `owr (OT:5785)], coverings of skin, because the latter word is singular, not plural: one skin was sufficient for both.”[2] This would make sense as with Christ, one died for all; here one animal would have been sacrificed to cover the “sin” that Adam and Eve had committed. Another way we correlate this as a picture of Christ, is that we see in Genesis 3:14, that the animals have now become cursed, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals!” (NIV) Although the animals had done nothing wrong, they became cursed because of the sin of man. We find the same with Christ as He became the curse because of our sin. The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."” (NIV)


[1] Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft (Genesis 3:21)
[2] Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft. (Genesis 3:21)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Three Pictures of Christ in Genesis - Part 1

The next three posts are from a discusion board question in my Old Testament Survey class at Liberty University. The discusion is: Find three ways that Jesus Christ is pictured in the book of Genesis and discuss how each one relates to Jesus either in His person (deity) or in His work. Be specific.

From the very beginning of the book of Genesis, we can see Jesus, because as we read anything of God, one can never picture God without picturing Jesus and the Holy Spirit there. The Trinity is made of three persons, but of one essence. Therefore anything involving one, in effect involves all three. As God spoke the world into being in Genesis 1, we correlate that with John 1:2-3, “He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (NIV) We cannot look at the very beginning words of Genesis without seeing the deity and person of Jesus. Adam Clarke’s Commentary puts it this way,

…GOD is said to have created all things: in this verse, Christ is said to have created all things: the same unerring Spirit spoke in Moses and in the evangelists: therefore Christ and the Father are ONE. To say that Christ made all things by a delegated power from God is absurd; because the thing is impossible.[1]

Clarke goes on to explain,

God cannot delegate his omnipotence to another: were this possible, he to whom this omnipotence was delegated would, in consequence, become God; and he from whom it was delegated would cease to be such: for it is impossible that there should be two omnipotent beings.[2]


[1] Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft, (John 1:3)
[2] Ibid