MESSIAH IN TORAH
TORAH PORTIONS – OCT 17, 2020
In the Beginning – Genesis 1:1-6:8
Yahweh creates the world in six days. Each day’s creative fruit is unique but Yahweh declares every aspect of His creation “good”.
Day one: darkness and light. Day two is the formation of the heavens, separating the waters so there’s an upper and lower water. Day three lands, seas, and vegetation are created. On day four, the sun, moon, and stars are set into place.
On day five comes fish, birds, and reptiles. Day six brings the creation of animals and humans, the only element of creation made in God’s image and given dominion. On the seventh and final day of creation’s week, Sabbath is made, sanctified from all other days, and Yahweh rests.
Yahweh then revisits humanity’s creation and commission. Man is formed from the combination of the dust of the earth and Yahweh’s living breath. He is instructed to eat from all trees and commanded not to eat from the Tree of Good and Evil. If they do, they will die. Seeing man’s need for companionship, Yahweh takes a rib from Adam and forms Eve. They are married and become one flesh.
The serpent then deceives Eve. She eats from the forbidden tree, thinking she can become like God by doing so. Adam follows her into sin and rebellion by eating himself. Adam and Eve cover themselves with leaves and hide from Yahweh’s presence when He comes looking for them. Death sets in. A curse is pronounced on Adam, Eve, and the serpent in ways unique to them. In the first recorded act of sacrifice and atonement, Yahweh kills an animal and cloths Adam and Eve in it. Then, Yahweh banishes them from His presence in the Garden.
Two sons follow: Cain and Abel. Cain rebels against God and, in reaction to God’s judgment, kills Abel. He is cast out and becomes a wanderer on earth. Sin continues to spread on the earth, represented by Lamech’s murder of a young man. Interestingly, Lamech is Cain’s distant descendant.
Seth is born, the third child of Adam and Eve. Adam’s generations begin to fill the earth. Corruption infects not just individuals and families but society as a whole. From Seth’s lineage comes righteous Noah.
DEVOTIONAL: THE MESSIAH IN TORAH
This devotional is not a comprehensive discussion of the Torah portion. Its purpose is to identify themes that point to and reveal Jesus the Messiah.
This section takes us from the beauty of perfection to the depths of death and loss. We forfeited what we were created to be, lost what we were created to do, and became a stranger to the One we were designed to know intimately. The narrative moves from the grandeur of creation to the devastation wrought by rebellion and selfishness. Yet, in the loss there is the promise of the Messiah, seen in the following ways.
The Word of Creation: “In the beginning, God…” is how the entire sacred record begins. Here, Yahweh speaks all things into being. His spoken word was the agency of creation. Then John’s Gospel begins with the same words, “In the beginning…” There is a connection. In the beginning was the Word, the One through whom all things were made (John 1:2-3). Jesus is the means through which the Father’s creative power flowed. He was there, possessing the fullness of the Father’s nature, working in perfect unity, and bringing the universe into existence. By John’s words we see Jesus is the Embodied Word of God, carrying both the nature and purpose of the Father within Himself.
The Promise: After the fall, Adam and Eve are without hope. Reconciliation isn’t within their grasp, which is why they hid from God (Genesis 3:7-10). Yet, Yahweh moves toward them, initiating divine redemption. The curse of death He promised cannot be avoided but it can be broken. He promised a Redeemer – a Seed would come through Eve who would destroy the serpent. When the serpent is destroyed, man’s attachment to death would finally and forever be broken. Intimacy would be restored; isolation would be gone forever.
The Second Adam: God created us in His image, but it was lost through Adam’s sin. Adam, in turn, created humanity in his broken, defiled image (Genesis 5:1-3). All of us are stained with sin (Romans 5:12-17). However, God’s promise of a son to Eve was assurance of redemption and restoration. 2,000 years ago, Jesus entered time and space for this very purpose. Just as Adam was the well from which all humans have drunk so Jesus was offered on the cross to become the wellspring of life to those who trust in Him. Where Adam destroyed his descendants, Jesus redeemed them. In Him, redemption has been realized.