With so much debate today over the interpretation of the creation account found in Genesis 1 – intelligent design, evolution, the gap theory, young earth vs. old earth, Scripture vs. science, etc. – it’s easy to overlook some tremendous spiritual truths in this passage.
Yes, it reveals God as the grand architect and creator of the universe and its natural order, but have you ever seen the Gospel in this chapter? Remembering that Moses’ audience was a rebellious and idolatrous band of nomadic Israelites (before there was a nation of Israel in the fullest sense), his intention wasn’t just to recount an historical event. It was intended to turn God’s chosen people away from their false gods to the one true God, the maker of Heaven and earth.
We do see God’s creative work in Genesis 1, but we also see the re-creative work of the Gospel of Jesus. Lest we forget, the entire Old Testament is a foreshadowing of the Messiah and His mission. We learn this from Jesus Himself. In Luke 24 He counsels the downtrodden disciples traveling the road to Emmaus as they were going home with their heads hung low in the aftermath of Calvary.
Unrecognized by these dejected souls, Christ begins to journey with them and teach them about, of all things, Himself:
“And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).
We need to note two important things. First, the only Scriptures of that day were the writings of the Old Testament and, second, the Savior taught them that “all” of these writings pointed to Him.
And this would include Genesis 1.
The Gospel is to be found in the creation story. Here’s the process:
- There was darkness and chaos (Genesis 1:1) – indicative of our blindness and purposelessness before God’s intervention, we see God making something good out of something in desperate need of order (Ephesians 5:8).
- God sent light (Genesis 1:3) – just as He sent the Light of the World in the person of His Son, the Holy Spirit penetrates the darkness of our minds and hearts with the truth of the Gospel. Then we see the florescence of Jesus (John 8:12).
- Life sprang forth – once our blind eyes are opened to the truth of our spiritual need and God’s provision in Christ, we “believe unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). We who were dead have been given faith that leads to life (Ephesians 2:1-9).
- Fruit appeared – God’s intervention, and the subsequent new life He gives, compels us to multiply and bear fruit. As His followers we are called and empowered to produce and reproduce (John 15:16; Matthew 28:18-20).
Although both simple and difficult to articulate, this sounds like the Good News to me. And this is what I’ve experienced as God has exposed my dark, lifeless soul to His Light, creating new life in Christ, and motivated me to yield to His fruit-bearing Holy Spirit.
So what’s the plan behind all of this? His sovereign, divine purpose in restoring us into His image (Genesis 1:27) – the image that was lost in our sin. God is proactively and graciously recreating us into the likeness of Jesus His Son for His own glory:
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
So let’s go back to Genesis 1 and see the Gospel and God’s redemption of our “formless and void” lives into something only He could create.
And then let’s read Genesis 2 and 3 through the same lens – for there we will continue to see the Gospel, grace, and Jesus.
Just like God planned it all along. For His glory and our good.