Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Bookends of the Bible (2)

(This is the second of two posts on the bookends of the Bible)

In my previous post on the bookends of the Bible, I discussed the dearth of Satan and sin, man having image and dominion, the tree of life, and the river. This time, I want to highlight two more crucial items that tie Genesis 1-2 together with Revelation 21-22, as well as the rest of the Bible.

The first item is the building. The second is the couple.

This is an unfinished building. Kind of like the church. Sorry, no pictures of the couple for now.

The building actually doesn't appear in the first two chapters of the Bible, but the building materials do. In the garden of Eden, there were three valuable building materials: gold, bdellium, and onyx stone (Genesis 2:12). In the New Jerusalem, there are once again three valuable building materials: gold, pearl, and twelve different kinds of precious stones (Revelation 21:18-21). Along the way, Paul also writes about three valuable building materials: gold, silver, and precious stones (1 Corinthians 3:12).

Through careful examination of these verses, you can see a progression. In Genesis, the building materials are scattered throughout the garden of Eden. In 1 Corinthians, the building materials are in the process of being built on the foundation of Christ. Finally, in Revelation, the building materials are fully built into the holy city, the New Jerusalem.

This building process seen throughout the Bible mirrors the building of the church. This desire was on God's heart from the beginning of time. The Lord Jesus promised to build His church in Matthew 16:18. But the building didn't really begin until the Lord had died and resurrected. Then, all the believers could participate with Paul in the building up of the church through their speaking (1 Corinthians 14:26). This building work is still being carried out today, and in the future the New Jerusalem will be the consummation of the building of the church.

But what about the couple in Genesis 2? Everyone has heard of Adam and Eve. Could their story possibly be related to God's desire for the church as well?

The first key is the verb in Genesis 2:22, which says that Eve was built from Adam's rib. Sound familiar? The church is being built just as Eve was built. The story of Eve's creation concludes two verses later in Genesis 2:24, which is quoted directly by Paul in Ephesians 5:31. Then Paul goes on to explain in the next verse that what he's really not speaking about the marriage between a man and a woman, but about the marriage between Christ and the church. Romans 5:14 says that Adam was a type of Christ, which further strengthens the connection between Adam and Eve and Christ and the church.

Fast forward to Revelation. Christ is the Lamb (John 1:29), but He is also the bridegroom (John 3:29) and in Revelation 19:7, the Lamb is the bridegroom, getting married to His wife. In Revelation 21:9, an angel tells John, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." But what is shown in verse 10 is the holy city, the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is the wife because the New Jerusalem is the church and the wife is also church. The story of Christ's romantic love for the church can be seen throughout the entire Bible (if you are a hardcore reader, check out Isaiah 54:5), beginning with the type of Adam and Eve and ending with the marriage of the Lamb with the New Jerusalem.

Note: If you would like to know more about the significance of each of the building materials, find a way to get in contact with this blogger.


danielle mccartney said...

This post is awesome! Its really impressive to see that there are lines that run throughout the entire Bible. It shows how truly amazing the Bible is! Only a divinely inspired book could convey such consistency throughout such a long period of time and through such a variety of authors that were involved in its writing.

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