Ron Parker

God. Tech. Life.

When Easter and Creation Collide

April 12, 2020

The Bible is in­cred­i­ble even when viewed as sim­ple a story. It starts off like a great, galac­tic space opera, “In the be­gin­ning…” with the “heav­ens and the earth”, the cre­ation of the very uni­verse and it ends with a mas­sive bat­tle, every­thing in flames and nearly de­stroyed, the long promised king re­turns, and by the fin­ish every­thing is set right, the world is re­stored and there is huge, mag­nif­i­cent wed­ding feast filled with cel­e­brants as di­verse as the world is wide. In be­tween, there are con­flicts, mas­sive bat­tles, love and ro­mance, and the fight for the very soul of man.

The lights go down and the cam­era zooms in through the dark­ness to a sin­gle, small world that’s the focus of our story. A beam of light splits the dark­ness and we see Earth drawn out of the wa­ters. Land ap­pears, as grass, herbs and trees begin to spread across the face of it. The cam­era pans up­ward, stars twin­kle into ex­is­tence, the Sun and Moon begin to shine. Like some great James Cameron movie, days begin to pass by in rapid suc­ces­sion with the Sun set­ting and ris­ing as the cam­era turns and plunges be­neath the wa­ters of the ocean and seas, which begin to teem with life. Great whales swim by and a voice is heard say­ing,

Be fruit­ful, and mul­ti­ply…

as the cam­era breaks the water’s sur­face, birds start to fly, cat­tle rise forth from the earth and begin eat­ing the green­est spring grass you’ve ever seen. Then, the voice speaks again and it’s not Mor­gan Free­man or James Earl Jones, their voices are but a pale im­i­ta­tion, and we hear,

Let us make man in our image, after our like­ness: and let them have do­min­ion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cat­tle, and over all the earth, and over every creep­ing thing that creep­eth upon the earth.

A sin­gle, soli­tary man ap­pears, a woman by his side. They are beau­ti­ful and per­fect, every­thing Hol­ly­wood wishes it could be.

The sun sets and rises again. All is peace­ful and quiet, the cou­ple roams across face of the earth, birds alight­ing on shoul­ders, fin­gers run­ning through the manes of lions, lambs ca­vort­ing in the fields.

We could stop right there. And, oh, how we wish we could. But we are only on the sec­ond page of the story.

A flash­back to man’s dawn, to his being drawn out of the dust of the earth and hav­ing the breath of life breathed into his lungs. He is hand­some and strong. Yet as he roams among the an­i­mals, nam­ing them one by one, the faintest glim­mer of sad­ness, no not sad­ness, lone­li­ness is seen in his eyes.

An ephemeral hand touches his fore­head, he lays down, and be­gins to sleep. A rib is pulled from his side, and it forms into the most beau­ti­ful woman you have ever seen. He awak­ens with her by his side.

They walk on to­gether, smiles on their faces. The lone­li­ness gone and in its place a twin­kle in both their eyes.

A beau­ti­ful gar­den is planted and they live there hap­pily, walk­ing in the light of the af­ter­noon with all of God’s cre­ation about them, rivers flow­ing to and fro with gold and pre­cious stones lying along their banks. It is all beau­ti­ful and per­fect, every­thing they could ever want.

Ex­cept, like Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, there are two ex­quis­ite trees. The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowl­edge of Good and Evil in the midst of the gar­den. With them go a sin­gle pro­hi­bi­tion, heard com­ing from that voice again, say­ing,

Of every tree of the gar­den thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowl­edge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat­est thereof thou shalt surely die

We turn the page for only the sec­ond time, and the woman hap­pens upon a crea­ture out of leg­end, a great red dragon. Yet there is no fire. There is no ter­ror. In­stead they begin to speak of God and de­sire, of power and pride, of fool­ish­ness and know­ing bet­ter than one’s cre­ator. And there is that tree.

What would it hurt? Why should any knowl­edge be for­bid­den? What could a sin­gle, sim­ple taste do?

She picks it and bites. Im­me­di­ately her lips red­den and her beauty fades. A great cathe­dral bell tolls in the dis­tance.

The Eve of all women has fallen.

Her hus­band is there now. He looks at her, a sin­gle tear in the cor­ner of his eye as his stares upon her fallen form.

She turns, of­fer­ing the fruit to him, to her Adam, a plead­ing ques­tion in her eye.

He low­ers his head and raises it again, a pained look on his face. He takes the fruit from her hand and de­cid­ing in an in­stant bites heartily into it.

The cathe­dral bell tolls again. Stronger this time.

Adam, the first of all cre­ation, has fallen.

A third toll.

Man has fallen … and with them, all of cre­ation.

As the bell echos on, they turn tak­ing one an­other’s hand and walk away from the cam­era as dark­ness edges in about them.

This is but the be­gin­ning of the great­est epic ever told. The first few pages of an 1,200 page story that will touch the hearts of all who ever live. A tale of treach­ery and loss; a tale of mur­der most foul; a tale of for­give­ness, re­demp­tion, and vic­tory that spans nearly 7,000 years.

But I can’t leave you there…

The lights come back up. We see our hero and hero­ine look­ing a lit­tle worse for wear, dressed in aprons of fig leaf stitched to­gether, walk­ing through the gar­den in morn­ing’s clear light, and a voice, that voice call­ing out,

Adam, where art thou?

They hide.

We see that same ephemeral hand part­ing aside the hang­ing growth where they have hid­den them­selves. An ephemeral face looks in as if to say, “there you are.”

Trem­bling, Adam speaks, “I heard thy voice in the gar­den, and I was afraid, be­cause I was naked; and I hid my­self.”

Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I com­manded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

This is where the ex­cuses and fin­ger point­ing begin. “B-​b-but God, the woman you gave me…”

“B-​b-but, the ser­pent be­guiled me…”

Mean­while, the dragon, who has ap­peared, re­mains silent. He’s seen this be­fore, and it didn’t end well.

Then, the curs­ing be­gins. Not as you and I cuss and curse. These lit­eral curses fall from the lips of God.

The L­ORD God, now wholly re­vealed in spir­i­tual body and in the full­ness of his power, speaks three im­pre­ca­tions. He be­gins first with the dragon,

Be­cause thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cat­tle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life…

The great red dragon is seen to shrink, first to a drake and then to a lit­tle wyrm as his color and scales fade, his voice is cut­off, and his wings shrivel away. He slinks off through the dust, dis­ap­pear­ing into small hole in the ground, his cast­ings ap­pear­ing be­hind him.

God con­tin­ues on, speak­ing the sec­ond to the woman,

I will greatly mul­ti­ply thy sor­row and thy con­cep­tion; in sor­row thou shalt bring forth chil­dren; and thy de­sire shall be to thy hus­band, and he shall rule over thee.

Fi­nally, turn­ing to Adam, he speaks the third,

Be­cause thou hast hear­kened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I com­manded thee, say­ing, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sor­row shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and this­tles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou re­turn unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou re­turn.

We then see the L­ORD reach for a lamb. It is struck down and sac­ri­ficed, its coat turned into proper clothes for the man and his wife. Blood was spilled and yet no stain can be seen. The coats are naught but white and pure.

Gone are the works of their own hands, the fig leaves stitched to­gether to hide their shame and naked­ness, and in their place, coats of skins bought and paid for by a blood sac­ri­fice of­fered to and by God from his own hand por­tray­ing a sac­ri­fice to come. And they faintly un­der­stood the sec­ond part of God’s curse upon the ser­pent,

And I will put en­mity be­tween thee and the woman, and be­tween thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The Lord Jesus Christ appears silhouetted hanging on the cross, the sunset behind him

And there was hope.

Today we cel­e­brate not the death of Jesus of Nazareth, but the res­ur­rec­tion and as­cen­sion into glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

© 2020, Ron Parker