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Eschatology is the theologian’s word for the study of last things. Theologians, like other scientists love their big words. Ever try to read a medicine package?
Classically, eschatology covers all the Bible has to say regarding what happens from the moment of death, through the intervening time before Christ’s return, His return, the resurrection from the dead, final judgment and the new heavens and the new earth. All of it reminding us that He has had a plan for the end of the ages all along. His plan for humanity wasn’t cemented into a perpetual Eden. He was aiming at more from the beginning.
And one problem that creeps up in our study of God’s Word, is how we can take what God does at one point in time, and assume that is the way it is supposed to be for all time. A case in point is that of Adam and Eve. We forget that Adam was not God’s endgame that simply went wrong. Romans 5:14 reminds us, Adam, was a type, a precursor or prototype of the One who was to come – Jesus, The Son of God incarnate.
And as is true of all such types and shadows, there are similarities to the one the type was pointing to, and contrasts. So along with our readings today in 1 Peter 5:12–2 Peter 1:2 and Jeremiah 29–31 there are some stunning contrasts between the first Adam in the Garden, and the Last Adam Jesus on the cross in Luke 23:26–49.
We’ll look at just 3 of those contrasts today on Through the Word in 2020. I’m Reid Ferguson.
As the old hymn goes:
Could we with ink, the oceans fill
And were the skies, of parchment made
Were every stalk, on earth a quill
And every man, a scribe by trade
To write the love, of God above
Would drain the oceans dry
Nor could the scroll, contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky
Let me note just 3 stupendous contrasts, and let your heart soak them in today.
1. When Adam sinned, he hid himself from God. Red with his own guilt – he tried to avoid the face of God.
In contrast, Jesus went TO God, when laden with our guilt. “Father forgive them” He cried. And then, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” The unfathomably brave Jesus, facing the wrath of God, red with our guilt – unflinching that we might go free.
2. Adam tried to cover himself so as not to be exposed. He sewed those flimsy, foolish fig leaves together as though they somehow could cover up the cataclysmic change which had come as the result of his disobedience.
On our behalf, Jesus was stripped naked and exposed to the world. Sin was not to be covered – even though it was not His own sin, but ours. Everything had to be out in the open. The shame that sin is and the heinous results of it had to be laid bare. He was shamed in our place. So the Word says “everyone one who believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
Oh blessed Jesus!
3. Adam pointed the finger at his wife as the reason for his fall. Then, at the God who gave him his wife.
Jesus instead took the whole of our guilt upon Himself, that His Bride might be covered. He refused to separate Himself from us even when it meant His death. Owning us as His bride regardless the cost. He hid us behind Himself while the just fury of God’s own holiness hurled it fiercest condemnation upon Him.
To write the love of God above, would drain more than the oceans dry; it would deplete the whole of creation in all of its vastness.
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.