2. Seeing Jesus in Genesis
Genesis 1:1-3 (NLT)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was formless and empty,
and darkness covered the deep waters.
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see and the things we can't see--such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
Last Sunday we started a new series of messages entitled “Seeing Jesus in the OT” And it’s my hope as we continue through this series that we might come to appreciate in a deeper way the Unity and consistency of the whole Bible.
In one sense, the Bible is a whole library, a collection of 66 different books written by 40 different authors including a shepherd and a king, a fisherman and a physician, over a period of almost 2000 years. But as we started to see last week, running through the whole Bible there is one consistent theme right from Genesis to Revelation:
That though the human race fell away from God because of our rebellion and disobedience, God had a plan to restore us back into a right rel’ship with him, and he would accomplish that plan and his purpose through the coming of his Son, Jesus Christ into the world, and his death on the cross, which paid the penalty for our sin.
That’s really what the entire Bible is all about.
But it presents Jesus & the cross in 3 ways: (Diagram – cross)
1. The 4 Gospels give us eye-witness accounts of the events of Jesus life: his birth, his life and ministry, his death and resurrection.
2. The Letters of Paul & the other NT writers look back and explain the significance of those events for us, and how we should then live our lives as followers of Christ.
3. But the OT looks forward, anticipating the future coming of the Messiah into the world.
The OT is kind of like this picture (Mosaic). Anyone know what this is a picture of? If you look up close you can’t really tell what it is.
But if you pull back and look at the whole picture then you can see better what it’s portraying. And the OT is kind of like that. When we look at each individual story or section of the OT as separate pieces of the puzzle, it’s hard to see how they all fit together.
But when we step back and look at the whole picture, especially in light of what the NT tells us, then we can see that it’s all connected together and it all points to Jesus. Jesus said to the people of his day: “You search the [OT] Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” (John 5:39)
And so if you leave Jesus out of the OT, the picture is incomplete. Because he is the one who brings to fulfillment everything that was written in the OT. Jesus is the one who accomplishes and completes what was anticipated by the prophets in the centuries leading up to his coming.
So that’s what this series is all about. And in order to have a fuller understanding of God’s plan of redemption, in order to really see who this Jesus was, we have to go right back to the very beginning, and the account of the creation of the world as it’s described for us in the first few chapters of Genesis. Even tho it doesn’t mention him by name, if you read carefully, you can find Jesus portrayed very clearly in the pages of this first book of the Bible
1. Genesis points to Jesus as the Creator
The very 1st words of the Bible immediately introduce us to the author of creation: Before anything else in the whole universe existed, there was God. He alone is without beginning or end.
I think I may have mentioned this in a message a few months ago, but it’s worth noting again, that the Hebrew word for God used here in Gen 1, “Elohim” is actually the plural form. And that becomes even more apparent later on in Gen 1:26: “Let us make man in our image”
And I would suggest that all 3 members of the Trinity: Father, Son and HS are present in these opening verses of Genesis. Certainly the Spirit of God is there, we re told in v2,
But where, you ask, is Jesus in this passage? Well it’s only as we turn to the NT, that we discover that the 2nd person of the Trinity, the Son of God was very much present & active in the creation process as well. The apostle John, in the prologue to his gospel, deliberately echoes the opening words of Genesis:
Now when John uses the Greek word or here he is not actually referring to the Scriptures, to the written word of God.
Rather He is using this term to identify Jesus, as the Word, the means by which God revealed himself, made himself known to the world. This was the Word who later on (1:14)
John’s point is clear I think, that when we read in Genesis that the writer is not just talking about God the Father, he’s talking about the Son as well. Because not only was the Son with the Father from the beginning, we’re also told that he was actively involved with him in the whole creation process. “(Jesus)(1:3)
And this idea comes through even clearer when get to the apostle Paul. Let me just read for you again, what we read earlier from his letter to the Colossians (1:15-16):
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth... Everything was created through him and for him.
Did you notice what it said? “(ie through Christ). By his Word, the Son of God brought the whole universe into existence. And so when we look at Genesis through the lens of the NT, we come to understand that “In the beginning, Jesus Christ, the Son of God created the heavens and the earth”
But not only does Paul say that the universe was created Christ, it also says it was created “” as well. And so everything that he created was made, not just for us, for our use and enjoyment, but ultimately for Christ’s glory, for his purposes. Because he created all things, they all belong to him. There is nothing that is not under his domain, his sovereignty. And that includes us. We owe Jesus our allegiance because he created us, we belong to him.
And so consequently we need to understand that when it was none other than the sovereign Creator of the universe who walked among us, who became one of us.
And so why would we be surprised that this very same Jesus was able to feed 5000 people with only 5 loaves and 2 fish? That he was able to restore sight to the blind, to even to raise the dead back to life!
Remember when the disciples saw how Jesus calmed the storm with just a word, they asked themselves: The answer of course is that this is the very one who created the wind and the waves to begin with!
2. Genes also points to Jesus’ eventual role as mankind’s Redeemer
When we get to Genesis 3, we see how Adam & Eve are deceived by the Serpent, fall into temptation, and do the very thing that God had warned them not to do: they eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And because of their disobedience, God spells out the terrible consequences for them: they are banished from the garden and will now be forced to eke out a living in a hostile, fallen world. They will suffer great pain and anguish for the rest of their lives, and eventually their bodies will succumb to death.
But God tells the Serpent there will be consequences for him as well:
So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Gen 3:14-15)
And so as a result of the fall, God tells us that there will now be enmity, or hostility between the Serpent and the woman. On first reading this, we might assume that this merely implies that men & women will have a natural dislike of snakes!
But there is actually something much more significant going on here. is an important key to understanding God’s ultimate plan of redemption, and it is often referred to as the the first rudimentary proclamation of the gospel in the Bible.
Now of course the Serpent here in Gen 3 is an embodiment of the one we saw described in Revelation a few weeks ago as
He has always been the arch-enemy of God and his goal is to draw the human race away from God and thus lead us to our destruction.
But who is it that God has in mind when he talks about the woman’s offspring? The Hebrew word which is translated as “offspring” or “seed” (KJV) is an important word that comes up again later in God’s cov’t with Abraham, which we will be looking at next Sunday.
Like our English word “offspring”, can be understood to be either singular or plural, depending on the context.
But it is clear that God is speaking about one individual descendant of Eve, because in the very next sentence He speaks in the singular:
When we come to the NT, we get further insight into just who this offspring of Eve’s is. In Galatians, Paul writes:
“The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.” (Gal 3:16 )
And so right from the beginning, right from the moment that Adam & Eve sinned and brought this terrible punishment on the human race, God is already looking ahead to the day when that curse will be lifted. He already knows that one day at a place called Calvary, there will be a great spiritual battle, where Satan will array all of his offspring, all of his forces against Jesus, the descendant of Eve, and try to destroy him.
And this verse in Gen 3:15 looks ahead to that day, when Satan will attempt to strike Christ and inflict a mortal wound upon him. When He will be (Isaiah 53:5) But in dying and being raised to life, Jesus will indeed crush Satan’s head and ultimately destroy him.
And so here in the opening pages of Genesis, thousands of years before he was born, we already have this beautiful picture of Jesus as both Creator of the universe, and Redeemer of the human race.
So then, what does all this mean for you and I personally?
1. It shows us that as our Creator, Jesus is uniquely . He stands alone among all the men and women who have ever lived throughout human history.
There is no one else who is his equal, no religious teacher or political leader who has ever come close to Jesus of Nazareth. That’s because He is the Creator of the universe, the Lord of all creation, the one who
2. As our Redeemer, Jesus alone has us.
Adam’s disobedience in the garden brought condemnation & death to the human race. But now through Jesus, the second Adam, and through his death for us, the curse has been lifted. You and I can now be justified, be made right with God, if we trust Jesus to forgive us through his death for us on the cross
3. Because he has redeemed you,. The Bible says Jesus is Lord, not only of the whole universe, but Lord of your life as well. You now belong to him. Everything you have, everything you are, everything you ever hope to be, you must place under his authority, his Lordship.
Would you do that with me once again as we PRAY together