Mary and Jesus the new Adam and Eve
Marion Sinclair- Simpson ©
In the beginning of the Bible in the book of Genesis we read the story of creation and we learn about the creation of our human parents Adam and Eve. We have all heard the story and probably felt anger at them for their slowness to learn the ways of God their stupidity at being easily fooled by the cunning serpent. Perhaps, we think if we had been in their place we would have acted differently, made better choices. However, it is not our place to judge our parents but to try only to learn from them. Their mistakes can be turned into the blessing of wisdom in our own lives.
The name Adam means ‘mankind’ in Hebrew and the name Eve means ‘the mother of all human beings’.
Everything that God created He is heard to exclaim over, “It is good!”, but when he created man, in the form of Adam God realizes “It is not good for man to live alone.” and so God then created Eve
So in the beginning God created man first and then created the woman to help and comfort the man. Everything in the garden was lush and beautiful. The food was plentiful, the scenery magnificent and the air filled with the scent of the abundance of flowers. The gentle breezes carried the sound of birds singing and praising their Maker. All was perfect. Enter the serpent. Now Adam had been specifically told he could eat of any of the trees except the tree which gives knowledge of that which is good and bad. Adam was warned if he ate that fruit he would die the same day.
The serpent was cunning and filled with envy of these people who were so loved by God. He wanted to put enmity between them and God and so he approached Eve when she was alone and he began a conversation with her. The first thing he does is put doubt in her mind. He says, “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”
Eve responds that they can eat from any tree except one. God had told them not to eat the fruit or even touch it, or they would die. The snake then accuses God of lying! He tells her that neither she nor Adam would die. Then he goes on to say that God is trying to prevent their becoming like God by forbidding them to eat the fruit.
Left alone to her own devices, Eve begins to think about the tree and how wonderful it would be to be as wise as God. She took some fruit and gave some to Adam. They immediately began to experience fear. Their actions had brought them to the awareness of their nakedness. They were filled with fear as to what God would do to them when He discovered their disobedience.
God does discover their disobedience and has to pronounce judgment against firstly the snake, his punishment is that now he has to crawl along the ground on his belly and eat dust as long as he lives. God also says this to the snake. “I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite their heel.”
The judgment upon Eve is that she will have pain and trouble in pregnancy and childbearing. She is now subject to her husband in all things.
Adam’s punishment is that he has to work and sweat to make the soil produce anything until he returns to the soil when he dies. God tells him that he was created from dirt and will return to dirt.
Now parents do not enjoy punishing their children. It makes a parent glad to bless their children, to speak blessings and love to them. But sometimes for their own good a loving parent has to chastise a child. That was unfortunately what God had to do. However before Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden God Himself made clothes for them. He knew their needs and helped them with them.
When I was little and I heard the story of Adam and Eve in Sunday school it never made sense to me. Firstly, a talking snake, pretty scary, secondly if a snake talked to me … see my dust!!! I couldn’t understand why because they did one little thing wrong they were thrown out of the garden. It made me a little scared of my own parents. One little thing and out I go. Definitely caused some insecurity in my childhood.
As I have grown in age and wisdom I realize that Adam and Eve actually committed several grievous sins in God’s eyes. There was the sin of listening to the serpent (the deceiver). There was the sin of doubting God’s word, the sin of avarice – wanting to have what God has and wanting to be the same as God. There was the sin of unbelief in God’s word, “If you eat this fruit you will surely die.”, and there was the sin of disobedience. God had given them specific instructions not to eat that particular fruit from that tree and warned them of the consequences.
Nowadays the serpent, sometimes called Satan, still uses the same old ploys to get us to disbelieve our God. He plants seeds of doubt in our minds, he whispers lies about God in our ears, and he sows seeds of confusion along the paths of our life’s journeys. He is a counterfeiter. He is incapable of creating anything but chaos. God is the Creator of all that is and was and ever will be. God is good. He is holy. He is faithful and true.
We live in a world where the serpent is still using his tired old tricks. He is still telling us that we can be equal with God. He uses words like self-reliant, self-made, and self-focused. Really it’s just the same old, same old. As long as we are focused on anything but God, Satan is happy. His function has always been to do evil. To destroy God’s good plans for our lives. To distract and discourage. To plant seeds of doubt. “Am I really lovable?” “Would God really choose and use me?”
The destroyer will leave you alone when you tell him to. He has no power over you that cannot be destroyed by God’s holy word. Throw scripture at him and he will leave. Praise God and he will leave. Worship God and Satan will cringe in fear and sneak away. Pray for your enemies and he will bolt out of the room. He is incapable of anything good and cannot stay in the presence of goodness. Keep your heart pure and your mind focused on God and God will keep you safe.
Now God has a plan to redeem us all. It is an excellent plan and it reverses the roles that were originally given to a man and a woman. God placed Eve under the subjection of her husband because she had tempted him to sin. She also had to suffer in childbirth as an atoning pain for her actions. Adam now had to work for the food that he and Eve would need for survival. They lost the comfort of paradise where everything was pain free and freely provided.
God’s new plan involves a new Adam and a new Eve. The new Adam is as we all know Jesus, the first born Son of God and also Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. The new Eve is Mary the Mother of Jesus. Except now the roles are reversed, Mary is created first. Mary comes into the world before Jesus and Jesus cannot come into the world unless His Mother proves her obedience and submission before God. People talk about Jesus humbling Himself to be born of a woman but first the woman had to humble herself before God and accept His offspring inside of her.
In the creation of the new Adam and the new Eve the woman is created first and her act of obedience allows Jesus to enter into the world through her womb. He has to be obedient to His parents and take instruction from them. He is dependant on them for food and shelter.
Now God’s new plan is revealed, the new Adam, who is Jesus the Christ, proves His obedience unto death. The new Eve proves her obedience by her acquiescence in allowing the sacrifice of her only Son for the salvation of humankind. Mary is often credited only with her obedience in allowing God to implant Jesus into her womb but Mary’s sacrifice is much greater than that. Her life was spent knowing that this child, the apple of her eye, would one day have to suffer greatly and die for the remission of the sins of humanity.
Mary knew that she was greatly honoured to be called the Mother of the Lord but the honour came at the price of the great sacrifice that she had to endure. She was with Him every step of the way; she was at the foot of the cross she suffered as He suffered. Mary’s heart was filled with unbearable anguish that only parents who have seen their children suffer know. Hard as it was for her to endure, she stayed with Him at the foot of the cross until He died. He had been deserted by all but one of His disciples but his mother stayed until the end. Mary’s torment enduring her Son’s anguish must have been unbearable and yet she continued to pray, she continued to watch, she continued to believe in the goodness of God. Mary has enduring faith in a loving God who honours the faith of His chosen ones. Mary remained faithful to the end.
Adam and Eve are both dead. Jesus and Mary are both alive in Heaven. Jesus ascended into Heaven in front of many witnesses. Mary’s body and soul were assumed into Heaven and so knows no earthly corruption.
When the disciples James and John asked Jesus if they could sit on His right and left in Heaven and Jesus told them that it was not for Him to decide those places but only for God in Heaven, they were being presumptuous. Obviously those places would be reserved for His mother and father. The two people that God honoured above all other human beings by His act of choosing them to be the earthly parents of His only Son Jesus.
Jesus and Mary work together in Heaven unceasingly for the salvation of souls. Mary is not relegated to a secondary role in Heaven. Her obedience and her great love for all of her children cause her to urgently petition the Father for our salvation. She works in co-operation with Jesus to facilitate His mission. As she worked during her tenure on earth to help Him achieve God’s purposes for His life she continues this mission in Heaven.