Thursday, August 25, 2016

Genesis Notes: Her Seed—Resurrection and the Tree of Life

The Agony in the Garden - Luke 22:39-46
The Crucifixion - John 19:1-11; 19:31-37
The Resurrection - John 19:38-42; 20:11-18. Hebrews 2:5-18
The Tree of Life - John 6:41-59

We are still breaking away from Genesis with Genesis: God and His Creation to look at the answer to the promise that the woman and her seed would defeat God's enemy.

We finish the look forward with some more amazing revelations. Not only did this keep opening my eyes but it left me with a whole new appreciation for the deeper meaning of Jesus's sacrifice and the cross.

Titian, Noli me tangere (Don't touch me)

The Resurrection - John 19:38-42; 20:11-18. Hebrews 2:5-18
Who was the very first gardener on earth? It was Adam, of course. God planted a garden for Adam and put him in charge of it. Adam, however, failed in his responsibilities. He did not keep that garden safe and had to be sent away from it. For Mary Magdalene to mistake Jesus as "the gardener" is a profound clue to us of what has actually happened in this Garden of Resurrection. He is, in fact, the "Gardener." He is the New Adam, who will not fail to keep His Father’s vineyard safe and make it fruitful. All things have been made new ...

Jesus, as the New Adam, had to re-trace the human steps leading up to the first Adam’s capitulation. For Him, it came down to a choice to obey God and suffer a torturous death or to avoid suffering, putting His own welfare first. We know that Jesus embraced His suffering. He entered fully and without reserve the step that would be the final and unequivocal proof of His love for God. This was the step man was originally designed to take ...

The devil does not have ultimate power of life and death. He is only a creature; God alone has that power.
These verses suggest that the "power" the devil has in death is the fear that it produces in human nature. The fear of death keeps men in bondage to the devil. How? Think of the scene in Garden of Gethsemane. The fear of death in Jesus had the potential to turn Him away from God’s will. In Jesus we are able to see that choosing God over ourselves can be painful. It is a kind of death to ourselves. In the case of Jesus, it eventually led to a physical death as well. Think of Adam in Eden. To resist the temptation of the devil would have required a death in Adam-if not physical, then surely a death to what he wanted to gain by eating the forbidden fruit. For Jesus to die and rise again strips the devil of his most potent weapon against man. If death could not hold Jesus, He is really the One with power over it. He was "bruised" in the process, but in another Great Reversal, the death of Jesus (and the appearance of victory for the devil) turned the world upside down, and the serpent slithers away with a mortal wound (see CCC 635).

The Tree of Life - John 6:41-59
We know that the first sacrament appeared in Eden, where men could have eaten fruit and lived forever. If Jesus, the New Adam, has made it possible for men to experience a new birth that restores them to the life Adam and Eve had before the fall, it should not surprise us to find that Jesus offers Himself as food and drink for those seeking eternal life. We have seen many signs in the New Testament that "the woman" and her "seed" came not only to battle the enemy but also to open a way for human creatures to return to the life of Eden. The Tree of Life was a prominent feature of that life; now we discover that the "tree" of the Cross (see Acts 5:30) has born fruit for eternal life. In the Eucharist, we eat that "fruit" and live forever.
This series first ran in 2004 and 2005. I'm refreshing it as I go. For links to the whole study, go to the Genesis Index. For more about the resources used, go here.

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