This is #19 in the Crossing the Threshold series.
I am adding a note on Israel for it is important to see we don’t just jump from Genesis to the New Testament and the Last Adam. This often happens when you reduce God’s story to three act play: Creation, Fall, Redemption.
It is crucial to understand God’s plan of redemption begins in Genesis; first with the promise (Genesis 3:15) of one who will come and defeat the evil one, and then his initiation of a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15. God promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:3) that through his seed all the nations will be blessed. God’s “project” for filling the creation with a people who will offer up “right praise” and reflect his glory into creation pushing back the darkness, is to go forth through Abraham’s “seed”; Isaac then Jacob, who becomes the nation Israel.
This is the recapitulation of Eden. God will dwell with them, he in the tabernacle/temple, which is in the midst of the garden/land. Israel is to be King /Priests (Exodus 19:6), a royal priesthood like Adam and Eve were, and sadly like their parents they too enact the primal sin of idolatry. The entire Old Testament is to story of Israel going after other gods.
Finally in the book of Ezekiel ( 10:15-19) the glory of the Lord ( His presence) leaves the temple and in 586 BC Israel is expelled from the garden/land into exile, just as Adam and Eve were exiled from the garden. And even though Israel returns to the land in the second temple period it is important to understand they were still in a state of exile for the glory of the Lord had not returned to the temple. In the book of Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament they are still waiting for the glory of the Lord to return to Zion and inhabit the temple.
And that is where we pick up our Hero Journey story with the Last Adam. He is the climax of the six act story God is telling. He is the one true Israelite through whom salvation of God’s entire Kingdom will be accomplished.
Act 1 God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation
Act 2 Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall
Act 3 The King Chooses Israel: Redemption Initiated
Act 4 The Coming of the King: Redemption Accomplished
Act 5 Spreading the News of the King: The Mission of the Church
Act 6 The Return of the King: Redemption Completed*
(Six acts from “The Drama of Scripture” Bartholomew&Goheen)