Jesse Tree: Day 2 Adam & Eve (Gen.1:26-2:25)
When creation is called into being, it is darkness & chaos (Gen.1:1-2). The story we usually think of as ‘creation’ is, on a closer reading, the story of God’s speaking light, order and life into a situation of formlessness, emptiness and darkness. Only when this process is complete is ‘creation’ declared ‘good’. Only now does it become fit for purpose. And only after the creation of mankind in His own image, male and female, is creation declared to be not just good, but ‘very good’ (1:31). We are formed from the dust of the ground, and we are those into whom God Himself breathes life. In the creation of humanity we come to a unique creature, one who is an overlap of both ‘physical’ and ‘spiritual’. A link between heavenly and earthly, holding a profoundly significant place in the panorama of creation. Although mere creatures, Adam and Eve nevertheless hold a position of incredible influence. What they do will impact everything. Tragically, as Genesis unfolds we see humanity drags creation away from the Source of Light and Life.
Perhaps the phrase that highlights their significance more than any other is found in Gen.1:26, where we read the famous words: Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image…’. The act of creating humanity is seen as deeply instructive - so much so that the narrative of creation is interrupted and we are taken back in Genesis 2 to consider this moment more carefully. Adam and Eve are not created at the same time, nor in the same way. Gen.2:21 records an extraordinary scene in which Adam is put into a deep sleep, and one of his ribs is taken and used to make a woman. To our ears, this is enigmatic, if not offensive. Why does God create us in this way?
The Apostle Paul teaches us that Adam was ‘a pattern for the One to come’ (Rom.5:14). Taking this with utmost seriousness, Bible students of previous generations meditated deeply on Gen.2:21. What seems obscure to us, was a vein of rich discovery for our spiritual ancestors, teaching them of a second Adam, who would both reclaim and change the destiny of creation (Rom.5:12-14 / II Cor.15:45-49). They understood that in the deepest history of creation, we are taught the future of Christ…
The great 17th century commentator, Matthew Henry wrote: ‘In this (as in many other things) Adam was a figure of Him that was to come; for out of the side of Christ, the second Adam, His bride was formed, when He slept the deep sleep of death upon the cross, in order to which His side was opened, and there came out blood and water: blood to purchase the Church, and water to purify it to Himself (Eph.5:25-26)’. Only by fulfilling the foreshadowing of Adam’s ‘death’ in Eden, could there be redemption.
God created mankind in His own image, in the likeness of God He created them; male and female He created them (Gen.1:27)
Ideas for Family Devotions:
Darken the room. If we want to see someone, we need to shine a torch on them! That is the Holy Spirit’s desire throughout the stories we’ll be thinking about in Advent - all of them are shining a light on Jesus, so we can see who He is and what He will do (John 15:26; I Peter.1:10-12).
Have you seen a detective film, or read a detective novel? You might see some of the clues, but miss others. Some of the characters in the story will see them too. The Old Testament is this. There are lots of clues about Jesus, but not everyone sees them. Some do though, and we want to listen carefully to them.
Bake a gingerbread man & woman…. And eat them too!