Monday, 11 March 2013

Attack in the Garden

In Genesis 3, the Serpent attacks the bride (a big theme in the Bible). Here, that bride is Eve. And what does Adam do?  Nothing, absolutely nothing.

The chapter division between Gen 2 and 3 is unhelpful because we then go and assume a time gap that isn't there in the original text. It should flow together as one...
Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’...?”
The serpent enters the garden, tempts Eve, and rather than grabbing that serpent by the tail and whirlling it around his head in order to launch it out of the garden,  Adam as head of the marriage, quietly nods his head to Eve as she contemplates eating, then joins her in the rebellion. (Note here, Eve is deceived, Adam is deliberately disobedient - you can tell this because there is no judgement pronounced on the woman - she will have pain, but Adam - as a head, is judged a dead man.)

Contrast this with the "Last Adam" - Jesus Christ. When the serpent comes to the Garden of Gethsemene - Jesus bolts out to the front of his men to protect them (John 18):
Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. Jesus answered,
“I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
Adam's curiosity was such that he was happy to risk watching his wife "kick the bucket," knowing that God could take another rib and make another wife. When she didn't immediately writhe, scream, choke, keel over and die, He figured he would have a go too.  Eve trusted her husband and her husband betrayed that trust.

Jesus does everything to protect his people - his bride, giving himself up so that she might live. Here is a bridegroom who can be trusted to death - and through death - to new life (John 10:11,17-18).

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