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Thursday, September 8, 2011

7 Sacraments Foreshadowed in the Garden of Eden

Today we are talking about the 7 Sacraments and how they are foreshadowed in the Garden of Eden. Let’s begin with the Sacraments of Initiation.

Baptism is seen in the very beginning

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

We see this imagery again in the very Baptism of our Lord Jesus

Mark 1:9-10 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove;

So we see that the Spirit moving over the waters of creation are also at the new creation of the Baptismal waters.

Confirmation in the Garden of Eden

In Genesis 2:7 then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

God here gives to Adam the breath of life, which not only gives his body life but his soul life as well. It is when they sin that this spirit of God would be taken from our first parents.

But we see Christ (God in the flesh), who had just conquered death come to the apostles on Easter as recorded in

John 20:21-23 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Finally there is peace Matt, because the forgiveness of sins has been given to men here. This is like a mini Penecost, The Holy Spirit would later fall on the entire church on its birthday.

Where do we see the Eucharist?

Certainly in the Tree of Life. Look what God does in Genesis 3:22 now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever" --

Keep these words in mind - eat and live forever, eat and live forever.

Listen not to Jesus in John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Jesus himself is practically quoting Genesis 3:22 here there is no question about it.

Is confession in Eden?

After the fall there is a kind of confession without a real admission of guilt. They play the blame game, so it is sloppy to say the least, but present none the less.

Marriage is most certainly prefigured.

Marriage was the hardest sacrament to find in my study (said with great sarcasm). Yes obviously our first parents were married.


The priesthood was tougher to find in Eden, until you study it in Hebrew. Then it is pretty clear in

Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

I know what you are thinking, and no you didn't miss it. When God puts man in the garden to till it and keep it. The Hebrew says that he is to Work the garden and guard it.

This doesn't sound like a big deal until you do a Bible study on these two words and then they always show up in the context of worship. Some examples

Numbers 3:7 "And they shall perform the duties for him and for the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle.

Numbers 18:7 "But you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything concerning the altar and inside the veil, and you are to perform service. I am giving you the priesthood as a bestowed service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death."

Our priests do this as well. They are to guard the teachings handed on from the apostles and work the Liturgy. Liturgy literally means the work of the people.

Finally the anointing of the sick.

It must be remembered that this sacrament is the sacrament of those who are suffering. All suffering had its beginnings in the beginning with the fall of our first parents. With sin came suffering. The pains of birth and the thorns of the field. Also that we are headed toward the dust of the earth in death.
But Christ, who compares his Passion to a woman in labor pains in John 16:21 and he wears a crown of thorns, grabs hold of the pains and sufferings of sin and reorders them toward healing and salvation.
So much so that Peter can say in 1 Peter 4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same thought, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.

So while not explicitly in the Garden of Eden but foreshadowed.

I got this Bible tidbit from an awesome Bible study by Dr. Brant Pitre on the seven sacraments. Sacramental Theology. This will take you both deep into theology and scripture.

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