Thursday, October 30, 2008

Adams as Priests

Something that has been on my mind over the last few weeks: the parallel between Adam and Christ as Priests.


The priestly office, it is generally agreed, involves guarding the relationship between God and His people from external enemies and internal pollution. A priest must first keep himself and his own pure, then must protect the temple so that there is no hindrance to God's people meeting with God. As such, it is an office that is concerned with guarding the life of the people of God (John 17:3).


Now, look at the way, particularly the order in which Adam (who was placed in the garden as a priest, to guard and tend it) failed:

1. He failed to protect the garden from external enemies--he allowed the dragon to enter;
2. He failed to protect his own--he allowed Eve to be deceived by the dragon;
3. He failed to protect himself--he was not deceived, but simply, high-handedly rebelled by obeying the dragon.

A brief aside: it was not until his ultimate rebellion that he was expelled from his position as priest and given the task of attaining the position that he had just rejected. We can see then, that God is not a legalistic God--He allowed Adam to fail two times without judging or condemning him for them.


Now we can look at Christ, Who fulfills Adam chiastically:

3'. He protected Himself through His threefold temptation by the dragon (part of which included refusing to take food for Himself);
2'. He protected His own--He ministered to Israel for three years, casting out the dragon (demons) and correcting the deceptions that Israel was under;
3'. He took the garden back from the dragon by replacing the fruit that was taken off of the tree (He was the fruit that was placed on the tree, fulfilling the principle of "eye for an eye"), and by doing so, expelled the dragon from the garden forever, restoring in Himself and then in us the temple that we had failed to protect.

A parallel aside: it was not until His death on the cross, His refusal to refuse the position given Him as priest that Christ succeeded in regaining what we had given away.


A few miscellaneous notes:

Adam was not simply assigned to protect and guard the garden, but to extend its boundaries to the four corners of the earth. Our assignment from the Second Adam mirrors this: we are to disciple the nations and populate the earth by declaring the victory of Christ.

There are three offices given to men, and in hierarchical order they are Priest, King and Prophet. In the new covenant, all Christians are Priests by definition (1 Peter 2:9), all are Kings in Christ, and all are Prophets in Christ. These latter two I will explore as the urge takes me, but to very briefly and inadequately define: Kings have the same assignment that priests do, but it is extended, and includes many more grey areas. If you have a family, you are a Priest and a King in that family, either well or poorly. The Prophet is one who has access to the very counsel of God Himself, and is called to rebuke Kings that are out of line. Draw your own conclusions; I leave you here.


The theme of Priest, King, Prophet is continued through Genesis, culminating in Joseph, who was the best picture of Christ that Genesis offers us. Look for it. It also extends to the people of Christ corporately, though it has not yet been fulfilled there.

Jesse Broussard

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