Although the book of Genesis doesn’t explicitly mention Jesus, numerous Christians hold the belief that it includes allusions that could suggest his presence.
The Holy Scripture is a sacred book that presents the Lord Jesus Christ in both direct and indirect ways to man. For instance, Jesus remarked in John 5:46, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me.”
The very first book of the Holy Bible, Genesis, which means “the beginning or origin of something,” unveils to us—the introduction of sin, the fall of man, and the necessity for Jesus to sacrifice himself for us.
So, how important is Jesus in the Book of Genesis? And how does the prophetic representation of Jesus in Genesis influence the Christian faith?
Is Jesus In Genesis?
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.— John 1:14
The first mention of Jesus is well-recognized. It is known as a “theophany,” or more properly, the “Christophany,” which refers to the non-physical manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah in the Old Testament scriptures (as an instance, in Genesis 18; cf. John 8:58, God reveals Himself to Abraham).
Many question the truth of the Book of Genesis. For instance, the Nephilim are mysterious giants mentioned in the same account, sparking centuries of debate and intrigue about their origins and nature.
However, it is clear that Jesus Christ did not merely emerge two millennia ago on this earthly plane. Rather, as we engage with the Scripture, we discover the true nature of Jesus: He represents the invisible God in the flesh, or in John’s words, “the Word became flesh.”
After the fall of man (Adam and Eve sinned), the Lord was seen wandering in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:8–24, and He came to look for those who were lost. This loving gesture reflects one of God’s attributes, demonstrating that even after man committed sins, He continued to love us and kept a prepared plan for our salvation.
When Christ entered history, he came to seek and rescue the lost (read Luke 19:10). Because of sin, God the Savior came from the beginning to look for and save people. And this ended with Christ dying on the cross.
Where Is Jesus Mentioned In Genesis?
Genesis 1:26 hints at a subtle foreshadowing. The utilization of plural pronouns, such as “our” and “us,” implies the active participation of all three divine entities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in the act of creation. God’s proclamation, “Let us create humans in our own image, resembling us,” alludes to a profound and divine plan gradually unfolding.
As we walk through the third chapter, we see Adam and Eve’s decision to offend and disobey God, placing them and their descendants in need of a Savior. In Genesis 3:15, the Lord God promises his followers a future rescuer: “He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel,” implying that Jesus would eventually defeat Satan, but He would go through suffering in the process.
To conceal the nakedness of Adam and Eve, God clothed both of them in animal skins. This foretells the slaughter of animals in the impending Old Testament offering system, which will conceal sin briefly. That system symbolizes the death of Jesus, which will completely cleanse the sins of all who seek forgiveness from Him.
To atone for the sins of the Israelite people, the Levitical system requires that animals be continuously sacrificed, thousands upon thousands throughout the centuries. We cannot possibly grasp the incredible blessing of the promise of grace in the Bible’s New Testament unless we realize the immense weight of the laws found in the Old Testament.
As we read through the fourth chapter of Genesis, we witness God receive Abel’s blood sacrifice, which is another prediction of Jesus’ crucifixion, but deny Cain’s grain offering since it is the fruit of his labor, indicating that only the sacrifice of Jesus is accepted and that any of our good deeds would not make amends for our sins.
What Is The Significance Of Jesus In Genesis?
Sin, curse, and Satan have all been discussed in the Genesis book, but the main focus of this narrative is on Jesus Christ. We proceed down the passage of Genesis and find numerous magnificent truths:
- Abraham follows the instructions of God to take Isaac, his child, to Mt. Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice, foreshadowing the crucifixion of Jesus years later. A temple was then established on Mount Moriah, and in years to come, Jesus endured death near the location where Abraham sacrificed his son Isaac.
- Melchizedek, whose biblical title translates as the “King of Righteousness,” represents Jesus because he was a priest (a peacemaker), much as Christ is our Righteous King and the Holy Priest who pleads for us before God.
- Noah’s Ark is also a symbolic representation of Jesus, our Messiah, who gives a place of safety from God’s holy judgment.
- Joseph, from the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, is believed to be an embodiment of Jesus because he was punished unfairly, but God elevated him to a place of great dignity regardless. This was a foreshadowing of Jesus’ sacrifice, as Christ died on the cross for us, through which He grants everlasting life to the entire world.
How Does Recognizing Jesus In Genesis Impact Christian Theology?
Following humanity’s profound struggles, God embarked on a sacred mission with an unwavering commitment to lift the heavy burden that had befallen us.
In a profoundly meaningful and selfless gesture, Jesus took on the role of the Messiah, willingly offering His own life on our behalf. In doing so, He bestowed upon all who would embrace this precious gift the invaluable blessings of salvation and forgiveness.
The Savior’s anguish stands as a beacon of hope in a world seeking redemption within this narrative of love, compassion, and divine grace.
John 3:34–36 indicates, “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without measure. The Father cherishes the Son and has entrusted everything to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, since God’s wrath remains on him.”
With all of the Old Testament’s prophecies of the coming Messiah in consideration and the New Testament narratives of Christ delivering all of those prophecies, it becomes evident that God’s assurance to Adam and Eve recorded in Genesis 3:15 served as the Savior’s initial promise.
The Lord delivered a Savior for us sinful human beings and kept his promise. As God’s word expressed, “When the appointed time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:4–5).
Acknowledging Jesus in the very first book of God influences the Christian faith by giving us the confidence to believe in God’s magnificent gift of salvation.
As Christians, we should not be so quick to let go of this great gift, even amid our awareness of our sins, conflicts, and imperfections, which can cause uncertainty in our minds and hearts.
We understand that true forgiveness, redemption, courage for today, everlasting hope for tomorrow, and a rewarding eternity for the whole world will only be possible through the Savior Jesus Christ.
While Genesis primarily delves into the creation of our world, the tragic fall of humanity, and the establishment of the Abrahamic covenant, there lies a tantalizing thread woven into its narrative, one that scholars and theologians have keenly discerned—an elusive foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.
Mankind was ensnared in a falsehood, a deception that ushered in the scourge of “sin” upon the world. Hence, God set in motion a divine scheme to undo the curse. Remarkably, from the very inception of humanity’s plight, Jesus emerged as the long-awaited Redeemer.
Whether interpreted as prophetic whispers or symbolic layers of meaning, these subtle references to Jesus serve as poignant reminders of the grand narrative of redemption that spans the ages.