Monday, January 31, 2011

Adam's Covering

When Adam decided that he would become like God through exalting his will above the divine decree, he took and ate. Bitter was the taste, and ashamed to stand before God in his nakedness he tried to provide a covering for himself and Eve. This covering of leaves took nothing of the consequence of sin away and he hid from the face of God. Summoned by the Voice he stood condemned in his sin. But oh the mercy of the Holy One. God provides a covering for Adam, innocent blood is split and man is covered. It has always been God’s provision, only God can provide the covering of man’s sin.

Behold the man. The Second Adam. God the Son becomes a man, exalting the Father’s will above His own. Empowered by the Spirit he offers himself as the sacrifice to take away the punishment due to sinful men. He is stripped of his clothes and led to death so that he might take away the shame and punishment of Adam’s sons and daughters. It is always God who provides the covering, and we have received the covering of the second Adam’s righteousness. His death is our death, his victory is our victory, his resurrection is our resurrection, his life is our life, his righteousness is our righteous, and his stripping is our covering.

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Psalm 32.1

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

βαπτίζω - Death, Burial and Resurrection

I had the joy and privilege to participate in the baptism of Eimear Murphy on Sunday the second of January. Baptism is always such a joyous occasion. Being buried with Christ and raised up with Him to the newness of life. A visible demonstration of a spiritual reality.

The place for the baptism was at small river by the Inniscarra cemetery in Co. Cork. Cemeteries are a most appropriate location for baptisms, since baptism is a picture of death, burial and resurrection in Christ.

Gregory of Nazianzus (d. A.D. 390) delivered a famous festive oration on the Baptism of Christ wherein he makes mention of the uniqueness of Christ’s baptism and how John the Baptist struggled to allow it. Using Paul’s analogy of Christ as the second Adam, Gregory explained how Christ’s baptism figuratively presents to us the failure of Adam turned into the victory of resurrection which reunites the faithful into communion with God.
"As yet [as] John is baptizing, Jesus approaches, perhaps also to sanctify the baptizer, and certainly to bury the old Adam in the water, but [John] the Baptizer does not accept it; Jesus debates with him. ‘I need to be baptized by you’, the lamp says to the Sun, the voice to the Word, the friend to the Bridegroom, the one above all born to women to the First Born of all creation, the one who leaped in the womb to the One worshipped in the womb... But Jesus [is baptized and] comes up again out of the water. For he carries up with himself the world and ‘sees the heavens opened’ which Adam closed for himself and for those after him, as he also closed paradise by the flaming sword."