NT Connection – John 1:1-5; Romans 5:12-21
Weekly Reading: Genesis 1-5
Jesus in Genesis
When the New Testament writers look back at the start of Genesis, they tell us two important truths about Jesus: he is God the Creator, and he is the new Adam. In other words, the beginning of Genesis points to Jesus as fully God and fully human.
Notice how John 1 begins so similarly to Genesis 1: “In the beginning. . .” John then turns to discuss the Word. It becomes clear in this Gospel that the Word is Jesus Christ. We see in these verses that the Son of God exists from eternity past, and that the Son is God. Then, in verse 3, John explains, “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” All things were made through Christ. Nothing was made without him. Christ was active in the creation of the entire universe. In Colossians 1:16, Paul affirms this same teaching: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Similarly, the author of Hebrews speaks of Jesus as the one through whom the world was created, and Christ Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:2-3). Jesus is the creator and sustainer of the world. He is God.
As the New Testament reflects on the creation account, the authors also show the full humanity of Jesus. He is the Creator, and he is also the new Adam. Paul describes this reality in Romans 5:12-21. Jesus is the new man. He is our new representative. Where Adam brought death into this world, Christ brings life. Christ brings justification and righteousness for those who trust in him. “By the one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (5:19). Jesus is the new Adam, and as the head of his people, all who trust in him will be counted as righteous for his obedience.
What is at stake with the truth that Jesus is fully God and fully human? Our salvation itself hangs in the balance. Jesus had to be fully God in order to pay the penalty for sin on the cross and to conquer the grave through his resurrection. Jesus had to be fully human in order to be a perfect substitute for people’s sins. In order to redeem us from sin and to reconcile us to God, Jesus had to be fully God and fully human.