Advent Day 4: After the Beginning

Posted on December 6, 2017 at 11:57 am,

Stained Glass Window showing Adam and EveEarlier in this series, we talked about the start of the world, and how this relates to the Christmas story. Today, we’re looking a bit further on in the story. In Genesis 3, the Bible tells the story of the first human beings. It calls them Adam and Eve, though the fact that the names are symbolic (Adam means “man” and Eve means “source of life”. Some Christians think these are two individuals, others that they are symbolic of a larger group of humans.

The story is fairly simple. Adam and Eve lived in a brilliant garden, living in close personal relationship with God. They had the full run of the garden (and, indeed, the planet), being responsible for caring for everything in it. There was one thing in the garden that God kept from them – the fruit of one particular tree. Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit, and the consequences were quite severe. As they finished the fruit, they experienced guilt, fear, and shame for the first time. Their relationship with God was horribly broken, and the effects had a knock-on effect on the rest of creation.

However, in the midst of this mess, God made a promise to set things right. Talking to the serpent who had provided the temptation, God said “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head,and you shall bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15). Christians believe that this refers directly to the coming of Jesus – whose life, death, and resurrection provided a way to restore the broken relationship between God and humanity, taking away all of our guilt, shame, and fear.

Much later in the Bible, we see a call-back to these events. In 1 Corinthians 15:21-23, Paul writes this:

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

Whilst this is more the Easter story than the Christmas one, the coming of Christ undid the curse that came from humanity breaking off our relationship with God. Not only did Jesus make a way to reconcile us with God, one day Christians will be raised from the dead, and live an eternal life with God forever.

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