Genesis 2:7, Easter and the New Eden

[T]he Lord God . . . breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

//If my message from Thursday, about the promise of peace on earth with the birth of our Messiah, seemed out of place for Easter week, let me bring it all together. In fact, let me bring the whole Bible together. Compare the beginning of the Bible with the end; the first age beginning with Adam with the new age inaugurated by the arrival of the Messiah. This comes from the Gospel of John:

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” –John 20:19-21

John opens and closes his gospel with Genesis, a new world. Here, his double emphasis on the gift of peace implies the age of the Messiah. Christ has returned as promised! His age-old greeting, “peace” or “shalom,” was a wish of well-being, but between believers it came to mean the deeper, worldwide peace that God would grant in the age to come. In Ezekiel’s famous dry-bones vision, a picture of the coming general resurrection, God says to the army he revives, I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.

The age of peace has begun. Are we living the Kingdom?

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