We are never happy. Adam had paradise all to his own, yet he was not happy. Genesis tells us "That there was not found a helper comparable to him" (Genesis 2:20). God wanted him to be happy so along came Eve. We all can agree that God in His wisdom, made all things good. So how did the battle of the sexes begin? Right there, trouble in Paradise.
Well it happened that Eve ate from the forbidden tree and gave some to Adam. (Adam could have said, no thank you.) But, he did not. Because of "free will," salvation began. It had become necessary for reconciliation between God and man. The interesting part of the story, beside the fact that Adam blamed Eve for the temptation, and ultimate loss of paradise, is what is disclosed to the serpent or the real cause of the problem for both Adam and Eve.
The serpent would be "cursed more than all cattle, and more than all the wild animals of the earth. On your breast and belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life."
Here is the important part. "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed." He shall bruise your head, and you shall be on guard for His heel."
The woman is punished by her pain in delivering children. Worse yet, "Your recourse will be to your husband, and he shall rule over you."(16).
That leaves us with the problem of understanding that above which plainly said to the serpent, "He shall bruise your head." Who is He? "And you shall be on guard for His heel."
(Between your seed and her seed): The woman's seed is Christ, who being God, the Word becomes incarnate through the birth of the Virgin Theotokos, and became Man. As we read in John (1:14) "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." "He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me."
The second part is that Christ destroyed the devil through the cross, "bruise your head."
On the cross, the words, (John 19:30) "It is finished," shows an end of the battle and final conclusion of God's plan, the salvation of man through death, resurrection and Ascension. (We wait His second and glorious coming).
Who is the devil's seed? All those who reject Christ. And the Church which Christ established on earth.
On Saturday evening, of Holy Pascha, we will sing: "through the Cross joy has come to all the world. "Let us praise His resurrection, For in enduring the Cross for us, He destroyed death by death."
"Risen from the grave as He foretold, Jesus has given us eternal life and His great mercy."
Reading "Great Lent" Journey to Pascha, by Alexander Schmemann, (P28), he wrote the following: "Thus at the beginning of lent we are like Adam:
Adam was expelled from Paradise through food:
Sitting, therefore, in front of it he cried:
'Woe to me...
One commandment of God have I transgressed,
depriving myself of all that is good;
Paradise holy! Planted for me,
And now because of Eve closed to me;"
Here goes the blame game. Adam you had "free will" and you chose to partake. Or, was it God's plan to be fulfilled by His only begotten Son, Jesus?
The answer is clear. Continued on (Pg. 28)
"Then answered the Savior to him:
'I wish not my creation to perish;
I desire it to be saved and to know the Truth;
For I will not turn away him who comes to Me....."
Isaiah 45:14 (Orthodox Study bible) "Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Egypt labored for you, and the merchandise of the Ethiopians and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall pass over to you. They shall be your servants and follow behind you, bound with handcuffs. They shall bow down and make supplication to you, because God is with you; and they shall say, 'There is no God besides You. (15)For You are God, the God of Israel, the Savior, yet we knew it not."
Isaiah"(53:12)"He was considered among the lawless, and He bore the sins of many, and was delivered over because of their sins."
The old testament teaches us that Christ came to Save us. Whether or not there was an Adam, there certainly is suffering. And, like Adam, there certainly is Choice. Choice is a gift from God, your gift of free-will. Your "free ticket" to paradise.
Whether you chose to believe or reject Christ is your decision.
Almost A Minyan
2 months ago