Christ and Creation
There are a number of passages in the New Testament that speak of Christís involvement in creation. No Old Testament passages are quoted to support what is said, nor is there any suggestion that what we have as to Christís involvement is a new revelation, such as the revelation that Paul had as to Christ and the assembly. However, both John and Paul specifically refer to Christís work in connection with creation. For instance, we have what is said in Johnís Gospel chapter 1 and Paul in Colossians chapter 1. Further, we have what the writer to the Hebrews says in chapter 1. For a consideration of the passages which speak of Christís involvement in creation see my book: Creation versus Evolution, Part II. The matter is considered in Appendix 3, paragraph (6). Then in: The doctrine of the Trinity and related teaching, Book I, Appendix 12 (6) the matter is also considered. (Note: there are minor differences between what I am saying in this article and what I have said in these earlier writings. It is for the reader to carefully weigh the differing views presented)
However, some may (as I have done) point to the fact that God is said to speak in Genesis 1 and Christ is called the Word in John 1:1. However it would be unsafe to lean too heavily on this connection because in Hebrews 11 verse 3 we have it said: ďThe worlds were framed by [the] word of GodĒ. The word used here is that for a fiat (rhema), rather than the word logos that is used of Christ in Johnís Gospel chapter 1 and also in his 1st Epistle chapter 1, in Revelation 19 verse 13, and also by Luke in chapter 1 verse 2. In all these passages a person is spoken of, though in Johnís 1st Epistle we are told what Christ is rather than who He is as in Johnís Gospel.
Personally, I would look to what is said of Christ in Isaiahís prophecy to find evidence of his involvement in creation. In Isaiah 53:1 we have the arm of Jehovah spoken of and then in verse 2 he (the arm) is spoken of as a person who will grow up before God (Jehovah). Who was the arm? The rest of the chapter is clearly prophetic of Christ, and Philip uses it in Acts 8 to point the Eunuch to Him. Oneís arm is that with which one does things and is often connected with strength in such passages as Isaiah 62:8 and Jeremiah 32:17.
However, there is another passage where the arm of Jehovah is spoken of and this also points to Christ. The passage I am referring to is Isaiah 51:9. Then in verse 16 of the same chapter we have God saying: ďAnd I have put my words in thy mouth, and covered thee with the shadow of my hand, to plant the heavens, and to lay the foundations of the earth, and to say unto Zion, Thou art my people.Ē Was God simply speaking to the prophet or is it really Christ that is in mind? Then as to Isaiah 53 we find that when the Eunuch asked whether the prophet was speaking of himself or of some other man, Philip started from that scripture and preached to him the glad tidings of Jesus.
If we speak of the arm of Jehovah and the spirit of God in the Old Testament the expressions are impersonal, but when we come to the New Testament persons are spoken of. It is a bit like a baby in the womb which in Scripture is spoken of in an impersonal way, being part of its mother (Matthew 1:20 and Luke 1:35). It is noteworthy that covering is referred to in the quotation in the last paragraph and also in chapter 49 verse 2.† God does hide things (Proverbs 25:2) but he brings things to light in his own time (Romans 16:25-27). It is clear that the following verses in Isaiah 49 are pointing to Christ.
If we turn back to Genesis chapters 2 and 3 we find that there is quite a connection between them and things that are connected with Christ, particularly, in Johnís Gospel. We have spoken of the work of creation in John 1 and there we have the fact that when Christ came into the world he was not recognised (acknowledged) as being the one by whom all things were created. Neither did his own people (Zion) receive Him. (Compare what is said in Isaiah 51:16 above and what is said in John 1:10 & 11.)
Then we have it said in Genesis 2:6 & 7 that a mist moistened the whole surface of the ground and that Jehovah Elohim formed Man, dust of the ground.† (For simplicity I have simply put God for Jehovah Elohim in what follows) What do we find Christ doing in John 9?† He spat on the ground and made mud of the spittle (verse 6). In both cases there was moistened earth used. In Job Elihu says: ďI also am formed out of the clayĒ (Job 33:6). See also Job 4:19 and 10:9. Was not Christ indicating to anyone who had eyes to see it that he was the one working in Genesis 2? Then what about Christ breathing into Manís nostrils the breath of life so that Man became a living soul?† (Genesis 2:7) In chapter 20 of Johnís Gospel we have Christ breathing into his disciples and saying; ďReceive [the] Holy SpiritĒ (verse 22). Is there not here an analogy with the breathing in Genesis 2 and was it not really the same person who did the breathing in each case?
Then there is the question of the Garden of Eden eastward (Genesis 2:8). Why did Christ go to a garden before his crucifixion? (John 18:1) That garden was on the east side of Jerusalem. Then again He was buried in a garden (John 19:41/42) Note also that Adam was a gardener (Genesis 2:15) and Christ was mistaken for a gardener by Mary of Magdala (John 20:15). Further, there were trees in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9) and it was a tree on which Christ was crucified (1 Peter 2:24). In the Garden of Eden there were rivers (Genesis 2:10-14). In John 7:37/38 we have Christ speaking about rivers of living water. When we come to Genesis 2:18-25 the question is raised as to the need of Adam for a helpmate. She was made out of a rib from Adamís side (verses 21/22). Rib and side are the same word in the Hebrew.† Christ when on the cross had his side pierced (John 19:34). Was this all coincidental?
When we consider Genesis 3 we find that Adam fell into sin, so that when God visited him he hid himself. Note here that Adam and Eve had made themselves aprons with fig leaves (Genesis 3:7) and Christ cursed the fig tree that had leaves only. May not Adamís sin have been in his mind when He did so? (Mark 11:12-14 and 20/21). Certainly fig trees must have had a place in the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve to have made use of them. They will have a place in a day to come (Micah 4:4) and we find that Nathaniel was sitting under one when Christ saw him (John 1:48).
In Genesis 3:8 we have Godís voice spoken of and God walking. In Johnís Gospel 5:25-28 and 10:4/5 we have Christís voice spoken of and those that hear it. Then we have Christ walking in John 1:35/36 and John the Baptist saying: ďBehold the Lamb of GodĒ. As John said in verse 29 the Lamb is the one that takes away the sin of the world. In Genesis Christís walking and speaking is when sin had been committed, but in Johnís Gospel it is connected with Christ as the Lamb of God, that is, the one that takes away sin.
Then we know that there was a judgment on the serpent in Genesis 3:14/15. However, Christ crushed the serpentís head as we learn from Hebrews 2:14 so that, through death he annulled him who had the might of death, that is, the devil. As to the woman, her suffering as described in Genesis 3:16 is matched by Christís internal sufferings as described in Isaiah 53:10/11. Such suffering as described resulted in a seed, that is, something corresponding to the birth of a child. Lastly, we have the judgment on Adam which involved sweating (Genesis 3:17-19). Christ, as we know, sweated in the Garden of Gethsemane as described in Lukeís Gospel (Luke 22:44).
In Genesis 3 at the end of the chapter we find that Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden. In the case of Christ he was rejected by the Jews and suffered without the gate (Hebrews 13:12). When Jesus was here he took the place of the first Adam and suffered in his stead.† God has finished with the first man and now has Christ before him and those who are his sheep and who follow him. Like Christ his sheep are rejected. First there was John the Baptist and then there is the man in the 9th of John who was cast out (verse 34).
November 2013BACK TO CONTENTS