The two most important days of the year for Christians are Christ’s coming, the holiday we know as Christmas, and Resurrection Sunday, the day Christ rose from the dead. While the two are tied together by Christ’s life, they also share a common thread from nearly four thousand years earlier, that being the Creation. Being that tomorrow is the day commonly celebrated as Resurrection Sunday, I decided to take some time and examine how the Resurrection of Christ and the Creation narrative tie together.
When God made the world, He built into it the option for man to choose. Man could choose to serve God and love Him, or choose to reject Him. That was the purpose of having the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. As most people remotely associated with Christianity know, man chose poorly and rejected God. This sin brought death into the world as the Bible tells us. Romans 5:12 tells us “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Death did not just fall upon man, it fell upon the rest of creation as well. It is known as Christian circles as the Curse. However, with the Curse, God also gave hope of redemption. He promised that one day a redeemer would come. Genesis 3:15 tells us of this promise. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The verse clearly implies several things. The first is that the Redeemer would be male. The second is that he would be seed of the woman alone. Man would not be involved in his birth. This would be clarified further in Isaiah when the prophet predicted Immanuel would be born of a virgin.
Adam and Eve clearly understood this promise to be about a redeemer. Genesis 4:1 tells us of the birth of Cain. ” And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD” Eve clearly thought God was keeping His promise quickly. Unfortunately for Eve, Cain was not the redeemer. The true redeemer would not come until nearly four thousand years later. When He did, He fulfilled every prophecy made about His coming.
However, just coming to earth was not enough. The Redeemer, Jesus Christ, had to pay the price for man’s sins. As God made clear throughout the Old Testament, there was only one price He would accept. That price was the death of an innocent victim in place of the sinner. In the Old Testament, that was a lamb. In the New Testament, it would be the Lamb. In fact, the Bible even refers to Christ as the Lamb. John the Baptist does so twice in quick succession the first chapter of John. However, the Bible makes 1 Peter 1:18-20 lays it out very clearly, even using the word “redeemed” “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” This makes the redemption story, promised in Genesis 1, crystal clear.
The Redeemer promised in Genesis 1 was both male and born of a virgin. Because the curse of sin was death, only an innocent death could break the hold of death on man. It had to be one unaffected by the curse, one without sin. It had to be the perfect man, the Lamb of God. The verse above from 1 Peter says Christ was as a lamb without spot or blemish. He had no faults, no hypocrisies, no sins. This perfection meant that when He gave Himself, a willing sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, His blood was sufficient to pay for man’s sins. His death redeemed man. But even that, was not enough.
The redeemer had to do more than just die. All men die. In order to provide eternal life to humanity, He Himself had to be alive. The Bible tells us that He is indeed alive. When the women came to the tomb to anoint Christ’s body, an angel met them there. Luke 24:6 records what he told them. ” He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,” Christ rose from the dead, proving that He was God in the flesh. Moreover, being alive, He offers the same life to mankind. 1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Adam’s sin caused death to pass on man. Christ’s death brings life for all men if they would only accept it.
The Resurrection and the Creation are two events separated by over four thousand years of history. Yet a common band binds them together, the promise of a Redeemer. God made the promise after the fall, but the Redeemer was planned before the world was ever made. The above-quoted passage from 1 Peter tells us the Redeemer was “foreordained before the foundation of the world”. God knew man would sin and also knew the cost to redeem man. He thus promised a redeemer, already knowing His Son would have to die. The next four thousand years offered glimpses into God’s plan so that man could identify the Redeemer when He came. While some did and followed Him, many others did not and had Him killed, which was what God had planned all along. But death was not the end. The Redeemer rose, offering life to all who would follow Him. Creation’s promise of redemption had been fulfilled.