Genesis 1-3 Events and John 17: the destruction and redemption of relationships.
Today’s Implications: for the Church globally.
- God lives in community outside of time (cf. Genesis, Job, Daniel, Ephesians and others)
- In Genesis 1-3 “Let us make man in our image.”
The Only God using the plural pronoun from his community and relationally based nature. Having made Adam, God perceived that Adam was incomplete alone in the garden and so created Eve: to provide ‘community,’ companionship, and, clearly, critically needed, complementary elements that made man’s experience more fully human – more like God’s character.
- Satan challenged God’s integrity: suggesting God is holding back, not telling the full story, denying Adam and Eve’s full “privileges.”
Adam and Eve’s decide to listen to and believe Satan rather than listening to and believing God (a lie vs. the truth – the lie so frequently sounding more appealing than the truth).This leads them to take matters into their own hands. This is why pride is the chief of sins – by far the most dangerous.
- Once they made their decision and took their action the five primary elements of all of creation went unbalanced – community, transparency, trust, identity, and wholeness – were all destroyed:
- Relationship with God was destroyed “Adam, where are you?” 3.9
- Relationship with myself was destroyed “I heard your voice and I was filled with fear” 3.10
- Relationship with others was destroyed “She gave me the fruit of the tree and I ate.” 3.12
- Relationship with creation was destroyed. Enmity, birth pain, sweat. 3.14-19
- Relationship with eternity was destroyed. Driven out & Tree of Life now off limits3. 20-24
- The full arc of redemption reflected in the Three Trees—“until the times of refreshing/restoring” (Acts 3.20-21)
- The Tree of Life: in the Garden of God & Adam: Access denied Genesis 3.1-24
- The Tree of Calvary: By the Son of God. Jesus : access renewed Acts 10.34-43, 3.17-21Jesus ‘”breaks through the veil and gives access to all.” (Strangely, hauntingly symbolic that Jesus’ sacrifice for us which, in the long run, give us access once again to the Tree of Life takes place on a tree!). Further, we know that Jesus went to the cross because of His inclusivity not His exclusivity.
- The Tree of Life: In the City of God Nations/individuals: access restored Rev 22.1-5,5.9-10 The Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem – symbolizing ultimate restoration.: “On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month…” And that great passage which articulates the inclusivity of God’s grace and the real unity of all men/women in creation, Rev 5:9 “…you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them a Kingdom of priests…” Note: diversity of human nature flows in to a single role in The Kingdom context.).
So, the Gospel, in fact the whole Biblical narrative, is, essentially, about the destruction and redemption of relationships.
Sin, so often used as a short-hand term, is only the many-faceted means by which Satan continues to divide believers and their relationship with the Father. Jesus came to radically change all that; to destroy the bonds of pride, selfishness, fear, isolation, etc. – all of which are symbols of living in isolation rather than authentic relationship.
- The prayer of the Lord Jesus. This is why, of all the options he possessed, in the final hours of the final days of His life before the cross, the ONLY prayer we have of Jesus where we actually have recorded what He said is that great prayer of John 17.
The only plea by Jesus to the Father is that His people will demonstrate the power of His life, death, and resurrection in their RELATIONSHIPS: that they will be made different/sanctified “in the truth” and that “they may all be one…so that the world may believe that You have sent me.” (17.17-21). He gives “the world” no other proof regarding the authenticity of His life and mission: “that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (17.23)
And, with that restoration in relationships comes the powerful blessing promised in Psalm 133.
Is it any surprise that the lack of tangible, visible unity in the Church globally is the principal roadblock to spiritual power, credibility for the message and spiritual breakthroughs to tens of millions turning to Jesus?