From a beginning within a beginning. Exploring The Bridge given by its architect, God, revealing and connecting His Plan from Genesis 1 to the end and beyond. Yes, there really is a connection between Genesis 1 and the New Testament. Part 2 of this blog post lays some first steps.
This series is related to a spiritual call (started in the early 90s) for me to walk a bridge—from the Judaic camp reaching out to the Messianic/Christian camp and then vice versa—crisscrossing it, realizing and later sharing who and what the real bridge is. Walk with me to discover God’s revelations and passionate plan for our souls.
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SUGGEST READING THIS FIRST: Beginnings within Beginnings [Part 1]
READING TIME: 5 MINUTES.
From page 1 of the Bible, God is on the move. His love revealed. He speaks forth creation for the sake of redemption . . . for a humanity who has yet to be created. A humanity who will rebel against His ways, refuse to surrender to Him, and recant their promises to Him.
And yet, His mercies endure forever.
With a WORD, God created His story, this dimension, this beginning within the beginning. The question is, we can see or sense in the physical what He’s done . . . but do we see with spiritual eyes the redemption mystery hidden in that murmuring deep and understand unto faith?
As shared in Part 1, rabbinic teaching says that the WORD God spoke did the creation. This WORD embodied both the creative process and the world’s redemptive process.
The Bible confirms and rejoices over God’s WORD in creation.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded, and they were created.
But what is this WORD really about? Let’s walk the bridge to discover the riches of God’s mystery in the WORD, in the one in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
WALKING THE BRIDGE: ANOTHER STEP HIGHER
Three aspects of the WORD link Genesis 1 with the rest of the story, appearing through the Bible, even to the New Testament.
JESUS: THE WORD
The Messiah Jesus (Yeshua, his Hebrew name) is the WORD, the WORD in the creation of all things. His Jewish disciple John connected the dots for us—revealing how the Messiah was with the Father from the beginning, how he came up out of the Father, and actively participated in the creation process:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He [Jesus] was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
—John 1:1-5, 14
Back in the late 90s, I had asked my friend’s Greek husband to give me the 4-1-1 on John 8:42—translating the scripture from the Greek since the original language of the New Testament was written in Koine Greek. He said that Jesus “came up out of the Father” . . . and similarly in John 16.
That image began to unravel the mystery hidden within the Messiah: he was with and in God eternally, was one with the Father yet distinct in person, and was sent forth by the Father from within God Himself for the sake of the world.
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came out from God and I am here.
I came not of my own accord, but he [God] sent me.”
[Jesus said]: “For the Father Himself loves you,
because you have loved me
and have believed that I came out from God
and have come into the world,
and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
And the Pharisee-turned-Messianic-Believer, Saul Paulus (the Apostle Paul), later wrote how the Messiah was one with the Father and held a key role in the beginning-within-a-beginning creation process . . .
For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—
yet for us there is one God, the Father,
from whom are all things and for whom we exist,
and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things
and through whom we exist.
—1 Corinthians 8:6
And in the Letter to the Hebrews, Saul Paulus/Apostle Paul reiterated that fact . . .
Long ago, at many times and in many ways,
God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,
whom he appointed the heir of all things,
through whom also he created the world.
He is the radiance of the glory of God
and the exact imprint of his nature,
and he [Jesus] upholds the universe by the word of his power.
JESUS: GLORY BEFORE CREATION EXISTED
God’s glory was fully on the Messiah—before, then, and now.
When Jesus had spoken these words,
he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son
that the Son may glorify you,
since you have given him authority over all flesh,
to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work
that you gave me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory
that I had with you before the world existed.
—John 17:1-5, 14
JESUS: IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD
He came forth out of the Father, co-eternal with the Father, reflecting the Father. If you’ve seen him, you’ve seen the Father.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities
—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Think back to Exodus and God’s name.
God told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” [I will be what I will be.]
Jesus/Yeshua repeatedly spoke of his eternal relationship with the Lord—his coming out of the Father, being one in essence with the Father, and returning to the Father.
Jesus answered: “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.
It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.
He saw it and was glad.
So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old,
and have you seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them,
“Truly, truly, I say to you,
before Abraham was, I AM.”
—John 8:54, 56-58
Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place,
for Jesus often met there with his disciples.
So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers
and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees,
went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him,
came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”
They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I AM.”
Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.
When Jesus said to them, “I AM,”
they drew back and fell to the ground.
Jesus said: I and the Father are one.
If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;
but if I do them, even though you do not believe me,
believe the works, that you may know and understand that
the Father is in me and I am in the Father.
—John 10:30, 37-38
PHOTO CREDITS for this two-part post:
CREDITS: Steam Punk Minister w/Bible by Nathan Bingle on Unsplash.com
CREDITS: Steps with child by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash.com
CREDITS: Tennis shoes on asphalt photo by Maxwell Nelson on Unsplash.com