Let us go back to the very beginning. Back to the Garden of Eden sometime after the seventh day. God was the God of Adam who created all things and gave man authority over all that was to be found on the earth, in the air and in the oceans. "And it was very good."
Now for the problem... Rom 6.16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? This is the basic principal of who or what has authority. The one whom you obey is your master... is your lord.
Let us review. Man has been given authority over all that God created in the earth. There is only one person that Adam and Eve were responsible to, God, who gave them the authority over all. He gave them the plan for their life... tend the garden, subdue the earth and fill it. He told them what they were allowed to eat. Finally, what they were forbidden to eat, the fruit that grew on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that was in the midst of the garden. Within these boundaries Adam had complete freedom to do whatever came into his mind. Nothing else was added to it; no commandments, no law, no precepts, no conditions. They were slaves to obey the Master but what freedom they enjoyed under His hand.
Then the enemy of our souls entered into the garden. It is interesting to note that the serpent, the most cunning of all creatures under man's authority, was approached by Satan and allowed Satan to use him for the scheme he had in mind. The promises made to the serpent are not revealed but the serpent obeyed.
The serpent, who now was the agent of Satan, approached Eve while she was sitting in the middle of the garden. What followed was simple manipulation of the words of the covenant God had with man. "Is it true...?", the serpent asked. If you don't know the story go and read it now... Gen 3.
Did you notice that Eve's response to the question was wrong? She added the words, "Nor shall you touch it." If she was willing to add to the covenant something that God didn't put there... what else can be done to change the covenant? Immediately the serpent attacked in word the motive of God for the restraining law. The serpent implied that God was a liar. Guess what? Eve believed the serpent. This opened the door for the occasion to fall... she took the fruit and ate it.
Only one step remained... would Adam take the bait. The one who had authority over all the earth, would he join in the conspiracy. Understand that to be a part of a conspiracy you don't need to know all the facts... you just need to go along with it. Eve was not evil... she was deceived. Now Adam on the other hand was not deceived. He saw what was going on. He knew the serpent was lying. He knew Eve was tricked into eating the fruit. Yet, knowing all this and that death would follow the eating of the fruit... He entered into the plan and ate the forbidden fruit that Eve offered.
Immediately their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked. They understood what was good and what was evil. Knowing this though was not the problem that man now faced. The problem is that they now placed themselves under the rule of Satan. Enticed, they rebelled against the commandment of God not to eat the fruit. Adam sinned! Now came the penalty... tempered by mercy. They did not die right away but God did curse Adam, Eve and the serpent.
Satan, in the chain of authority, was now between God and man. Why? To whom you give yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey. By following Satan's lead into rebellion Adam himself made us slaves to Satan, slaves to sin, slaves to death. All children born of a slave are the property of the master. Everyone born of Adam's seed would now be enslaved. It only took one act of rebellion on the part of Adam to do this. Now all must eventually die. The reason... because of the sin of the world... rebellion.
The good news to remember in all this is that Satan is still under the authority of God. Though he wants to kill and destroy, he still cannot go beyond any limits that God in His sovereignty has placed upon him. If God decides to put a hedge about a person or a people to protect them from Satan, then Satan can do nothing about it... except to accuse. God has done this with Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jacob and his family as well as with many others. Yet this is only a temporary solution. How can God redeem man from the curse and the authority of Satan?
God's righteousness, God's character, God's justice, demands that the death penalty must be paid. That is part of the covenant He made with Adam. Yet God is merciful... He will prepare a way that will allow a person to escape the judgement by having the penalty paid by someone else. Yet first He must teach man about the way to escape. Then He must prepare the way for the escape. Next, carry out the plan that will allow the escape and finally... the escape itself.
The First Shadow There they were, Adam and Eve in the garden and the judgement has been pronounced. Like I wrote earlier, God is merciful and will make a way for them to escape the consequences of sin. How? By offering a sacrifice for sin. Understand that up to this point in their lives nothing has ever died. All life continued and begot more life. What God did next must have shocked Adam and Eve almost beyond comprehension. Standing there before God, naked except for some leaves that they sewed together, God showed them the reality of what it would take to properly cover their nakedness... their sin. He took an animal and killed it before them, the blood falling to the ground, the life of the animal sinking into the ground. Then God took the skin of the animal and covered them with it. It is then that the foundation truth was revealed...
Hebrews 9.22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
No one can approach God without blood being shed. It was to be a reminder of sin and its penalty, and its power to deliver. The lesson was later understood by Abel but not by Cain, Adam and Eve's first two sons. God demands that the penalty be paid, even if only a shadow of the reality which is to come. This is where we stand by faith, that the penalty will be paid by another. Abel offered up a lamb and poured the blood out as a testimony of faith in God's way. Cain offered up the fruit of the field. I do not need to remind you who it was that God favoured and who He did not.
Noah knew what had to be offered. So did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc...
The Great Shadow Three thousand years after the fall of man God opens up the doors of revelation knowledge to one man... Moses. God gave Moses the ten commandments and also instructed him in the law and all the precepts attached to it. Israel was finally given a definition of what is right and wrong. They knew what it would take to obey God yet to become His people they would have to sacrifice, to shed blood, to enter the covenant or their sin would continue to separate them.
They understood the lesson of the last plague visited upon the Egyptians. Unless you are protected by the blood, which was lambs blood painted onto the door posts, you were subject to death. Now that the law has been given they needed a way to approach God with righteousness born out of faith. Up goes the tabernacle, the curtains, lamp stand, table, etc... and when all is done they sanctify the priest with blood. They sanctify the tabernacle and all that is within. Then lastly they sanctify the mercy seat of God. From there the people are then sanctified. All of it by blood. I think they got the point.
It must be noted here that: Hebrews 9.9It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—
You see it was symbolic, resting on faith in the sacrifice yet to come which would be the reality of their shadow offerings.
Not of Adam's seed yet human. The Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary and creating a new life within her. It is with Mary that our God brings forth the second Adam, fully human yet not of Adam's direct seed. The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. He was called Jesus. That is His name in Greek. Yet the name given to Mary to name the child was Jewish... Yeshuwa... meaning "he will save". This is not a strange name freshly thought up. The name appears often in the old testament scriptures yet in the english language is translated as deliverer among other similar words. In fact the english words deliverance, aid, help, victor, prosperity comes from the Hebrew yeshuwah.
In the Greek new testament words such as delivere(r), rescue(r) and safety are soter, soteria, soterion and these words translated to Hebrew would be yeshuwa and yeshuwah. The very word salvation is soteria... yeshuwa.
Why bring this up? Because we were in need of someone to deliverer us from the judgement of God. The soul that sins shall die. The rebellion in the heart of man had to be done away with. How? By a blood sacrifice. Whose? By someone who had no sin. Who? Jesus, the second Adam.
John the Baptist had it right on the money; John 1.29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Notice that he said sin of the world and not sins of the world. The sin of the world is in the heart and that heart has rebellion at its core. Everything else, all sin, is based or you can say rests on that foundation. Whatever sin you have committed has for its base rebellion. That is the "sin" that has been passed down to all generations of Adam. Only Jesus the second Adam was free from this sin for His Father was God and not Adam. That is why Jesus makes the perfect sacrifice for He only can pay the price of death for another person, having no sin Himself.
In obedience to the will of God His Father He went to the cross and God took all the sin of the world and laid it upon Jesus as He hung on the cross. And Jesus paid the price for that sin... He died. When Jesus did this He opened up an avenue of escape for the sons of disobedience... US!
Three days and nights His body lay in the tomb. For three days and nights Jesus was preaching the fulfilment of God's promise to those in Paradise where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob rested with the others who had faith that God would redeem His people. After he preached the kingdom there He took the keys of hades and death and lead captivity captive. Then the power of God overshadowed the lifeless form of Jesus still in the tomb and His body changed from corruptible to incorruptible. He was created a new creature. He rose from the dead to a new life. He was the firstfruit; 1 Corinthians 15.20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Since then the salvation of God has been freely offered to all. The stumbling block of rebellion that is, or if you are saved, was in your heart He has paid for it. He is now looking to find those who are willing to stop rebelling, being under the authority of Satan and come to obedience, being under the authority of the second Adam who is Jesus. It is a decision of the heart and for those who accept the chance to become God's children once again the Father will take out the root of rebellion from the heart and give them the Holy Spirit as a seal of redemption and give newness of life within. We still have our old flesh yet that too will eventually be done away with. Here is the promise...
1 Corinthians 15.21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
When? When He returns in the sky. When He gives a loud shout. When mortality will be swallowed up by immortality then we will be with Him forever. This is His gift to you now for your spirit and also in the future for your body. Do not neglect so great a salvation as this. Believe the gospel and obey.
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