Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mary – the New Eve

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord let it be to me according to your word – Luke1:38

Mary – the New Eve
By c.pio

Let me begin first with the parallel between the book of Genesis (on the account of creation) and the Gospel of John (which I already discuss in one article of mine Bible: Man's Autograph God's Authorship)

Genesis 1-2:3
Adam and Eve: In the beginning and the fall of Man

John 1-2:1
Jesus and Mary: The New beginning and the story of Man’s redemption

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1-5)
“the First Day”

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1).

“the second day” (Genesis 1:6-8)
“the next day” (John 1:29-34)
“the third day” (Genesis 1:9-13)
“the following day” (John 1:35-42)
“the fourth day” (Genesis 1:14-19)
“the next day” (John 1:43-51)
“the fifth day” (Genesis 1:20-23)

“on the third day,” that is, three days later (John 2:1)
“the sixth day” (Genesis 1:24-31)

“Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3).

Both begin with a description of “In the beginning”. In the book of Genesis, the author use the ordinal numbers first, second, third and so on while in John’s Gospel he used sequencing next day, the following day and so on. But reading John’s Gospel one could notice the big shift in Chapter 2, Apostle John used ordinal number ‘on the third day’ instead of sequence counting which he usually does.

By going back in the book of Genesis after the account of creation on the seventh day God rested and (as I have discussed before, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 in Genesis are the same account of creation though each chapter uses different styles Book of Genesis: Two accounts on creation of Man) the story of Man’s fall was narrated: wherein man losses the gift of everlasting Life thus Death reign.

On the seventh day in John's Gospel thru the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John used the phrase “on the third day”, this phrase in the New Testament prefigures the Resurrection (Matt. 16:21, Matt. 17:23, Matt. 20:19, Matt. 27:64, Luke 9:22, Luke 13:32, Luke 18:33, Luke 24:7, Luke 24:21, Luke 24:46, Acts 10:40, Acts 27:19, and 1 Cor. 15:4) – A new beginning, Restoration of everlasting life that was once loss by man (thus Death has no power).

The Story of the fall
(The Book of Genesis)

Genesis 3:6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.

Genesis 3:6 is the story of the fall of man – the story of disobedience and expulsion; the transition from a state of obedience to a state of disobedience to God. The narration stated that in the Garden of Eden, there was a Woman (sinless virgin) [Gen.2:23] who believed the lies of a fallen Angel, took a sinful fruit from the tree [Gen.3:6], and gave it to her partner called Adam [Gen.2:20] and the sin entered the world.

The Story of Redemption
(The Gospel of John)

But in the story of the Redemption, a Woman (sinless virgin)[Isa. 7:14; John 2:4; John 19:25-27] bringing the fruit of her womb [Luke 1:42], Jesus Christ called New Adam [1 Cor. 15:45], to the Tree [Gal. 3:13], that started in Garden of Gethsemane [Mt. 26:46] and we become freed from the curse of the Fall.

As we mentioned above, on the seventh day in John's Gospel, Christ and Mary celebrating the wedding at Cana.

Mary’s Role
Woman: The New Eve

It's here, at the wedding at Cana, that Apostle John first introduces us to Mary.  And what does Jesus call her there?  “Woman” [John 2:4].  That is, He refers to her by the name that Eve bore before the Fall, when she was free from all stain of original sin.

Jesus Christ
The New Adam

And remember that in the book of Genesis, it was Adam who called Eve Woman [Gen.2:23] and here it was Christ who called Mary Woman. By comparing these two events, Apostle John wanted to tell to his readers that Jesus Christ is a New Adam and Mary is a New Eve.

Apostle Paul tells us that specifically, in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22:

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

And again in 1 Corinthians 15:45,

So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

So Apostle Paul calls Jesus Christ the New Adam.

The Tree and
the Fruit

Apostle Paul once said in  Galatians 3:13:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

So the “Tree” is the Cross.  And Elizabeth refers to Jesus as “the fruit of your womb” to Mary [Luke 1:42].  Just as the first fruit brought sin into the world from the tree, the second Fruit brings sin out of the world through the Tree.

And how did the Fruit of Mary's womb, Jesus Christ, get to the Tree?  The new Woman, Mary, started Him along His way, at the wedding of Cana.  When Mary first seeks Jesus' intervention, He replies: “O Woman, what have you to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” [John 2:4].  This is a reference to His Passion, which is why He says in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners” [Mt. 26:45].  In other words, He's warning Mary that if He grants her this request, it will start His public ministry, which only ends one way: His Death.  She persists, and He obliges [John 2:5-11].  In other words, Mary helps lead Jesus to the Cross.  

So we've got the seven days, our new Adam, our new Woman, our Tree and our Fruit. Early Christians also taught that the Annunciation marks the reversal of the temptation of the first Eve.

The Story of the Fall
(Sin entering the World)

The Story of the Redemption

Eve: Sinless Virgin called “Woman” [Gen. 2:23] by Adam

Mary: a Sinless Virgin [Isa. 7:14] called “Woman” [John 2:4; John 19:25-27] by Christ the New Adam

Eve believed the lies of a fallen angel and disobeyed God [Genesis 3:1-7]

At the Annunciation, Mary believed the words spoken by a holy Angel and obeyed God.   [Luke 1:38]

took a sinful fruit from the tree [Gen. 3:6]

bringing the fruit of her womb [Luke 1:42] sinless Man (and True God: Christ) called New Adam [1 Cor. 15:45]

bringing it to a sinless man called Adam [Gen. 2:20

to the Tree [Gal. 3:13]

In John’s depiction of Calvary clearly parallels the Garden of Eden: there is a tree (the Cross - Galatians 3:13), a man (Jesus) and a woman (Mary).

And the first Eve gave Adam the forbidden fruit; in so doing, she became the indirect cause of the Fall, The New Eve gave the New Adam "the Fruit of her womb" - His human Body, in which He suffered and died for us.  In so doing, she became the indirect cause of the Redemption.

Irenaeus 180 A.D., in his book Against Heresies:

Wherefore Luke points out that the pedigree which traces the generation of our Lord back to Adam contains seventy-two generations, connecting the end with the beginning, and implying that it is He who has summed up in Himself all nations dispersed from Adam downwards, and all languages and generations of men, together with Adam himself. 

Hence also was Adam himself termed by Paul the “figure of Him that was to come,” because the Word, the Maker of all things, had formed beforehand for Himself the future dispensation of the human race, connected with the Son of God; God having predestined that the first man should be of an animal nature, with this view, that he might be saved by the spiritual One. For inasmuch as He had a pre-existence as a saving Being, it was necessary that what might be saved should also be called into existence, in order that the Being who saves should not exist in vain.

In accordance with this design, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word.”  But Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin. And even as she, having indeed a husband, Adam, but being nevertheless as yet a virgin (for in Paradise “they were both naked, and were not ashamed,”  inasmuch as they, having been created a short time previously, had no understanding of the procreation of children: for it was necessary that they should first come to adult age, and then multiply from that time onward), having become disobedient, was made the cause of death, both to herself and to the entire human race; so also did Mary, having a man betrothed [to her], and being nevertheless a virgin, by yielding obedience, become the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race

And on this account does the law term a woman betrothed to a man, the wife of him who had betrothed her, although she was as yet a virgin; thus indicating the back-reference from Mary to Eve, because what is joined together could not otherwise be put asunder than by inversion of the process by which these bonds of union had arisen; so that the former ties be cancelled by the latter, that the latter may set the former again at liberty. And it has, in fact, happened that the first compact looses from the second tie, but that the second tie takes the position of the first which has been cancelled. 

For this reason did the Lord declare that the first should in truth be last, and the last first.  And the prophet, too, indicates the same, saying, “instead of fathers, children have been born unto you.” For the Lord, having been born “the First-begotten of the dead,”  and receiving into His bosom the ancient fathers, has regenerated them into the life of God, He having been made Himself the beginning of those that live, as Adam became the beginning of those who die. Wherefore also Luke, commencing the genealogy with the Lord, carried it back to Adam, indicating that it was He who regenerated them into the Gospel of life, and not they Him. And thus also it was that the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith.

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