Text: Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17; Genesis 3:1-8, Matthew 26:36-46, Romans 5:12-21
“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world…”
1 Peter 1:20
It’s difficult to grasp the reality of “before the foundation of the world,” but there was indeed a time before the Earth existed. And it’s even wilder to realize that before “In the beginning God created…” (Genesis 1:1) ever happened, “Surely I am coming soon,” (Revelation 22:20) had already been set into motion.
“In the beginning was the Word.”
The Word was Jesus—He was God and He was with God in the beginning. Jesus was never Plan B. He was always Plan A. Jesus is, as Sally Lloyd-Jones says, “the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together.”
All of Scripture points to Jesus. Every word.
While the whole of the Old Testament world groaned under the weight of its own imperfection—unfaithful, unbelieving, and incomplete—we, the Church, now see with clearer eyes that “all the promises of God find their ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20). The world would always be incomplete without Jesus.
And so, beginning with Adam, we will spend the first three weeks of Advent studying the Scriptures together to find Jesus in the Old Testament. We will seek to understand in a fresh and clearer way how, while many men and women were mere models of the already-coming One, Jesus would be the truest and best version of every one of them. He would be complete where they were incomplete. God’s promises to these prophets, priests, and kings would indeed find their “yes” in Jesus.
Just look at the parallels and important differences we see with Jesus and the very first man:
-Adam was from the earth, a man of dust (Genesis 2:7).
-Jesus is from Heaven, not of this world (1 Corinthians 15:47).
-Adam lived in his true home—a garden in the east of Eden (Genesis 2:8). He was not a stranger. Not an alien. His home was not temporary—until his sin made things wrong.
-Jesus left His true home in Heaven to become a stranger in a foreign land in order to make things right again (John 3:16).
-Adam was tested in the Garden of Eden and disobeyed. His disobedience introduced death and condemnation to the entire world (Romans 5:15).
-Jesus, too, faced a decision in a garden—in Gethsemane. His obedience unto death introduced grace and life to those who receive it (Matthew 26:36-39).
-When Adam disobeyed, God made him leave his home. He would never get to go back ever again (Genesis 3:23-24).
-When Jesus obeyed and fulfilled His work, He ascended into Heaven to return to His home with the Father for eternity, and to prepare a place for us there (John 14:2, Acts 1:11).
-Sin and death entered the world through Adam by one act. Now everyone dies because everyone sins (Romans 5:17).
-Life-giving justification, was made available by Jesus through one truly righteous act because He was the One righteous man (Romans 5:18).
Do you see? If Jesus was “foreknown before the foundation of the world,” even the very first man was an on-purpose prototype of the One who was already coming.
Many of us celebrate these four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas because we are remembering the awaited arrival of our King. But the Old Testament is, in a sense, the first Advent. It was a thousands-of-years-long season, where the weary world awaited the very real, truest and best “thrill of hope” we sing about today.
Jesus is the true and better Adam—the One whose obedience brought forgiveness and life where disobedience once brought condemnation and death. Let’s study the Scriptures together this season to see that we can find our “Yes!” to every one of God’s promises in Christ Jesus. Amen.