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Genesis Revisited- Parallels Between The Beginning And The Resurrection

By Shane Johnson

What do the beginning of creation and the resurrection have in common? In today’s post, Shane Johnson explores the parallels between the two events.

Shane is a regular contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio through his program entitled “Wisdom for Fools”. Shane Johnson has been commended from Bethel-Park Bible Chapel since 1999. He resides in Brantford, Ontario with his wife Shelly and his five children. He has his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in History. His passions are teaching children, inspiring young people, writing, music and playing soccer.

The Apostle John And The Beginning

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.” John 20:1

The BeginningIt is obvious the Apostle John had the book of Genesis in mind when he wrote his gospel.  The first words of his gospel, “in the beginning,” reach back to the beginning of creation.  In fact, they reach beyond that.  John reminds us that “in the beginning [when] God created the heavens and the earth,” the Lord Jesus Christ was there.  All things were created by Him, and for Him, and “without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-4).

John continues his “Genesis motif” throughout his gospel, beyond chapter 1.  In John chapter 2, we see Him creating wine from scratch.  In John chapter 4, we see Him healing the nobleman’s son from a distance, simply by speaking the word.  In John chapter 8, we hear Him say, “before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58).  In John chapter 9, we see Him smearing clay on the eyes of the blind man, reminiscent of the clay from which we were created.

Parallels Between The Beginning And The Resurrection

But the greatest parallel John makes to the beginning is with his account of the resurrection in John chapter 20.  Only John tells us that it was in a garden, reminding us of the original, and fallen, Garden of Eden.  Only John tells us that Mary came to the tomb, “while it was still dark,” reminding us of the original Spirit of God hovering over the face of the darkness waiting to proclaim, “Let there be light!” (Gen.1:2-4). These parallels show John is thinking not only of the original creation but of the new creation as well, which the resurrection ushers in.

But most significant of all, John records that after He rose from the dead and greeted them, “He breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).  Only John records this beautiful truth.  Through Jesus Christ, for the second time in history, man received the breath of life into His nostrils.  The first time, man became a living being.  The second time, man received a new nature, a new beginning, a new authority, and a new creation from God.  God always saves the best for last!

The Beginning

The Work Of A New Creation

John Milton, describing the creation account, observed that the Spirit of God, “with mighty wings outspread, dovelike sat brooding on the vast abyss and madest it pregnant” (Paradise Lost, Book I, 20-22).  In the beginning the Spirit of God was pregnant with creation, how much more was the Spirit of God, brooding over the empty tomb, pregnant with redemption!  With His coming forth began the work of the new creation, the long awaited redemption of God.  It is no wonder the earth heaved with an earthquake that first resurrection morning, as if with contractions, for it recognized the voice of the One who had been raised to deliver us from the curse!

In addition, when man was originally created he received this mandate from God: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen.1:28).  How noble, how dignified, how profound to be given such responsibility!

His Forgiveness

But now, in light of the resurrection, man has been given a new mandate: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23).  How can these things be?  God alone is the one who can forgive, and yet He allows us to make this proclamation.  Stewardship of the earth was magnificent indeed, but stewardship of His grace?  His forgiveness?  This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our sight.

In conclusion, let this be said of the power and effect of the resurrection: “…it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor.4:6).

King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.

Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.

May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.


Shane Johnson

You can listen to podcasts from Shane Johnson’s show, “Wisdom for Fools” here

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Images Courtesy of:

Jerusalem Tomb Of The Garden- Djampa

The Appearance Of Jesus Christ To Maria Magdelena- Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov

Fog- cocoparisiene

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