Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jesus in the Garden

Typology is found throughout the Bible and helps us better understand God’s Word.
Typology can be said to be where the stories in the Old Testament and New Testament match.
As Saint Augustine said: the New Testament concealed in the Old and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.
In Romans 5:14 Paul specifically calls Adam a type of Christ – a foreshadowing of Christ –a dim image that Christ would later perfect and fulfil.

If we are going to understand what Jesus did in the New Testament, we have to go back and look at what the first Adam failed to do.

And so, when we go back to Genesis Chapter 2, God created man and put him in the garden. Verse 15 says The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to keep it. Now that word ‘keep’ is a very interesting word. In Hebrew it is ‘shamar’ and it literally means to guard, to protect, to preserve. And so you have to ask yourself at that point, guard it against what? We don’t know at that point.

Verse 16 and 17 goes on to say: the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." That is what we call the ordeal in the early story – keep and guard this garden but don’t eat from that one tree or the penalty will be death.

Then God creates Eve and He takes Eve from Adams rib, creates and fashions Eve and brings Eve to Adam and the two become one flesh. It is implied that Adam will have to teach Eve that we have to guard the garden and she may say “Guard it against what?” He would reply “I’m not sure at this point, but if we eat of that one tree we are going to die”.

And that is the issue, obedience and death. God has created us in His image and likeness which means that we have an intellect and a will.

In Genesis Chapter 3, the serpent comes into the garden. Now that word serpent is not a cute little garden snake. The word serpent is the word “nahash” in Hebrew, and it is also translated to the great Leviathan, a sea monster, a large venomous creature. The serpent says immediately to the woman "Did God say, `You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?"

Now that’s a question right away. Not "Does God exist, but can you trust Him?".  The woman gives an explanation what to eat and the serpent replies "You will not die”. Now the question is “Where is Adam here?” Adam has a responsibility to guard and protect the garden and his bride, but he is very silent. Why was Adam silent in the garden and why did he let Eve to answer on his behalf?

It is likely that he was scared, very scared! In the Hebrew, the sentence is incomplete when the serpent says “Did God say? and there is a veiled threat in the snakes question that is “if you don’t eat of that fruit you are gonna die because you are gonna mess with me".

God says "You will die if you eat it. I am implying here that you are gonna mess with me if you do eat it” Adam is stuck in the middle. He has several choices. One, does he entrust himself to the Father, as Peter told us to do in his letter and say Father I need help what should I do?, Or does he roll up his sleeves and say to the enemy “You are not getting my bride, you are not getting this garden and I am willing to even suffer and die for what God has told me to do". But he is silent. Naturally it is pride that causes the fall of Adam and Eve, but it looks here like Adam is afraid to suffer and they end up falling.

What is interesting after this, is the curse. In Genesis 3:15 God says “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." The Early Church Fathers tell us this is the proto-evangelium, the first announcement of good news and the answer to the problem of original sin is going to involve a deep bruising and it will be in the heel. Christ is the head we are the body.

In verse 16, God says “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” What is He saying to Eve? God is saying "I am going to help you see how to love. Here is the penalty, you are going to give yourself to your husband, you are going to love your husband, the result will be pain. You are going to have pain, in childbirth, but it results in fruit, the birth of a child". And God says to Adam, "You are going to work the fields, you’re going to sweat, there are going to be thorns and thistles".

But what’s going to come out of the field, fruit - bread. Jesus has assumed the curse of Adam upon Himself, the curse of sweat, the curse of blood and thorns. What God is teaching them at this point is that “You’re afraid to suffer and trust Me when I told you something to do, I am going to help you learn what real love is all about”.

Now if you go to the New Testament, you will see the opposite of this in Jesus. We asked the question earlier, "Why did Jesus come?"

People say, He came to die for my sins, but He came to more than just die. Because if He came to just die, He would have done it right away and got it over with. But Jesus came to do a few other things. He was silent on death. He ran away from death at every turn before Matthew 16, but then in Matthew 16 He gives the keys to Peter and establishes the kingdom. Then immediately after establishing the kingdom, what does He bring up. In Matthew 16:21 it says “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Now you remember back in Genesis, what did the enemy say to Adam “you surely shall not die”.

And that is the issue, you are not gonna die. There is an easier way Adam, there is an easier way to get on in life separate from God. Right away when Jesus said to the disciples “I am going to suffer, I am going to die”, Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him saying “God forbid it Lord, this shall not happen to you”. And Jesus realising what’s happening here, that he is entering his ordeal as the last Adam and about to enter the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus says to Peter “Get behind me satan, you are a stumbling block to me for you are not setting your mind on Gods interests but mans”.

And so Jesus then enters His ordeal when he goes to His garden and there is an uncanny parallel between the Garden of Gethsemane and the first garden with Adam and where Jesus (the second Adam) enters the garden, and you know the story in Matthew 26 where Jesus underwent tremendous agony in the garden to the point of death.

What’s interesting about the story is that in Matthew 26:36-38 it says “Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsem'ane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go yonder and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zeb'edee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me."

The same wording that we see in the Old Testament ‘keep watch, keep the garden’ is used by Jesus when he said "Keep watch with me" and then He does what Adam failed to do. He entrusts himself to the Father which is not what Adam did. Adam was filled with pride and he was silent. Then in Matthew 26:39-42 it says: And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done."

And that is the difference in the last Adam and the first Adam, Jesus totally entrusted Himself to the Father in doing what the Father asked Him to do. He poured Himself out in complete love, complete offering and He sets the example for us that we can trust the Father even if it there is suffering involved, even if there is pain involved in the redemption of man. We know that Jesus rose from the dead and so we look at His life and we say I may suffer with Him now but I will be glorified with Him later.

The second Adam, Jesus, went into the Garden, was sinless and was also tested. Jesus went to the tree and laid down His life for His bride, the Church.
The Cross becomes the Tree of Life as the Early Church Fathers called it.
In the deep sleep of Adam, from his side came forth Eve.
The second Adam, Jesus, went to the tree and in the deep sleep of death came forth blood and water which represented the waters of Baptism and the blood of the Eucharist as the Early Church Fathers understood it. The blood and water was the sacramental material from which the New Eve, the Church, is formed.

The Two Trees
Adam and Eve were not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden
Eating of the fruit wounded them, it killed them spiritually speaking. It wounded the human race with the poison of sin
The second tree was the Tree of Calvary, upon which Christ hung on the Cross.
And the fruit of that tree, the Tree of Calvary, the Holy Eucharist, is the antidote to the poison that was introduced into the world through Adam and Eve.

In one garden, the Tree of Life brought about death and in another garden the Tree of Death brought about Life.
Eve, the first mother of the living was at the foot of the first Tree and Mary, the second Eve, is at the foot of the second Tree
The Apostle John goes out of his way to inform us that the Cross and the Tomb were in a garden.
For the first Christians, Mary was also seen as the second (or New) Eve, the woman who undoes by her obedience the sin that Eve brought by her disobedience.
The first Eve listened to a fallen angel and succumbed to temptation bringing sin into the world.
Mary listened to an unfallen angel and thus brought about, through Jesus, our redemption.
Christ was conceived in Mary’s womb, and therefore is “bone of (her) bones and flesh of (her) flesh.” We read in Genesis 2:23 Adam exclaim, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”.

What really blew my mind in the midst of all of this was realising that in this Garden of Gethsemane, guess who the bride was? You and I. You and I are standing there and Jesus is rolling up His sleeves and saying “OK I am going to offer myself for you” and now that we’re redeemed He joins us with himself and says walk as I walk, love as I love. We can use your suffering for the redemption of the world also.

Scripture supporting ‘joining our suffering with Jesus’
Collossians 1:24 -
2 Cor 12:9 – thorn in the flesh
2 Cor 4:8-11,14
2 Corinthians 1:5 – We share in Christs suffering

Jesus goes into the garden. Jesus goes to the tree and undoes what Adam did and does what Adam failed to do.
Adam failed to lay down his life for Eve. Jesus says “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his beloved.”
Why would Adam fear death at that stage if he hadn’t sinned, for God said “Eat of the tree and you will die”
Jesus also hadn’t sinned and sweated blood and felt ‘death’ in the garden.
The devil was defeated by Jesus as the devil has the power of death.

Jesus did what Adam failed to do as scripture says “Perfect love casts out fear”
Mother Teresa said once “It is not possible to LOVE GOD except at ones own expense”

Source: (primarily) Jeff Cavins plus Scott Hahn, Steven Ray and Patrick Madrid

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