This book is quickly becoming a feast that nourishes my imagination in ways other books simply have not done. As I noted earlier, chapter one discussed what Jesus was up to pre-creation. In chapter two the feast continues! This time we meet Jesus in Creation, specifically in the Genesis 1 account of creation.
I was always aware of the presence of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Genesis 1. The Father is there of course, the pre incarnate Word, Jesus is there…his voice booming out over creation, calling things into being from nothing. And the Spirit is there hovering over the waters. In fact, one of the most frequently asked Bible questions I get as a pastor has to do with Genesis 1:26 Let us make mankind in our image. What’s this “our image” business people always ask. I usually tell them that there’s three ways to look at it: 1) God is speaking of himself and the heavenly host here. 2) God is speaking in what’s called the royal we…think about royalty here speaking of themselves in plural terms. 3) This is the Trinity. Now personally I’ve always liked the third answer, the Trinity. Of course you lose your union card for saying that around a lot of biblical types these days…but then again, I’ve never really cared about that kind of stuff anyway.
Well, Sweet and Viola have even more to say about Jesus in Genesis chapter 1. I had no idea that the days of creation could be read as showing us the whole story of Jesus. Wow! They start with a fascinating discussion of how John chapter 1 and Genesis chapter 1 parallel one another. How did I never see that before? In the beginning God says “Let there be light” and John’s gospel proclaims “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.” Oh, there’s plenty more than that…but I’m not doing your homework here…you’ll have to read for yourself, I’m just here to wet your appetite. Oh, and not only do the days in Genesis 1 tells us about Jesus, they also reveal to us what the Christian life looks like!
As a personal aside, I really like what Sweet and Viola are doing here. The early church fathers saw Jesus all over the Old Testament. Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and so many of the early reformers saw Jesus all over the Old Testament. Even the writers of the New Testament saw Jesus all over the Old Testament. Have you ever seen how many Old Testament quotes and references are made in the New Testament? Just for fun, one day look at the book of Revelation and see how many Old Testament references and quotes you can find talking about Jesus…I’ll bet you’ll still be counting when Jesus returns! So, considering all of this, why don’t we see Jesus more in the Old Testament these days? Why do we think it’s so bad to read the Old Testament and say “oh, I see Jesus there!” Besides, didn’t Jesus himself do this when he told the disciples all about himself using the Old Testament as they walked to Emmaus? He did indeed!
In this chapter they also discuss Genesis chapter 2 a bit as well (I’ll post some of that in a bit as an exert) but they’ll be hitting that in more detail in the next chapter of their book. Happy reading!