The Antidote. Ultimate Solution to Agony of Humankind
The antidote must be VERY strong. It has to open the way to the Tree of Life, barred by two Cherubim with flaming swords.
The antidote, the last chapter of Agony of Humankind, the ultimate chapter of God’s plan. What or Who can breach the formidable defenses blocking the way to the Tree of Life? It will take more than weapons or stealth.
Genesis evokes both the agony of humankind through the sorrow humankind would suffer and the antidote to counteract the agony. Chapter 3:15 refers to an important step, not to say leap in applying the antidote.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman (the AGONY), and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head (ANTIDOTE), and you shall bruise his heel (AGONY).
The serpent administers the first bruise immediately, in Genesis 3. The man and woman barely have time to be with God and enjoy each other and the Garden. And, bam, the Serpent wrecks havoc. Instant and constant agony is the name of the Serpent’s game. The quicker and the harder it can strike, the more damage it can inflict. That is and has always been the goal of the Serpent. Its first bruise on humankind was swift and efficient. Thrown out of the Garden, cut off from the very way that leads to the Tree of Life, left to figure life out for themselves, the man and woman, and subsequently, all humanity are in dire straights. Here’s the Biblical Hebrew for bruise.
שׁוּף shûwph shoof; a primitive root; properly, to gape, i.e. snap at; figuratively, to overwhelm:
KJV — break, bruise, cover.
This is the FIRST confrontation of the FIRST man with the Serpent. It takes place IMMEDIATELY at the beginning of his life. Note that Genesis 3:24 says, “And he (God) drove out the man…” No mention of the woman. The man is singular, he’s responsible, no matter the role he played in the episode with the Serpent. The man LOST the first confrontation, and God made the FIRST judgment to oust him from the Garden.
How is God going to get humanity out of this mess? Recuperate billions of His created beings from sure death? The antidote must be powerful indeed. It is. The antidote annihilates the head, the primary part of the Serpent. That Antidote is Jesus Christ. God anticipated this misbehavior and made provision for rehabilitation and amends. He set it in stone the BREAKing of the Serpent’s head, BEFORE the initial bruising of the man and woman.
1 Peter 1:20
Who (Jesus Christ, the SECOND Man) verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times (about 4000 years after the creation of humankind, some 2000 years ago) for you,
Peter erred concerning the last times chronology. He wasn’t the first, it was Eve, and certainly not the last. But, he was exact about the antidote role assumed by Jesus. Here is the counterpart to the Garden of Eden episode. Christ, the Second Man, went through the SAME TEMPTATION as Adam, the first man. Adam failed, Christ succeeded.
Jesus LEAD into the wilderness to be tempted.
Ever wondered why the Book of Matthew is the first in the New Testament? There are various reasons, one is, its parallel to Genesis. Both start with the origin of man, the first, and the Second. Genesis reveals what happened to Adam immediately after being placed into the Garden of Eden. Matthew reveals what happened to Jesus immediately after His baptism. Christ was about 30 years old at this point. I suspect but have no way of knowing, that Adam was about 30 years old at his creation. Notice the similitude in the language used for both narratives.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (G3985) of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter (G3985) came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Adam and Christ are both beloved sons. God was pleased with both of them. Both were immediately tempted by the Serpent. Adam in the luscious surroundings of the Garden, Christ in the exact opposite environment. Christ’s trial was to test His uppermost limits, under the severest conditions. Horrible environment, the wilderness, horrible state, hunger pangs of the worst type. And who’s on the scene? The tempter, the Serpent. It manifests itself when an individual is in the best circumstances (Garden of Eden) and the worst (wilderness), and everything in-between. It surely seeks out whom it may devour. Here’s the meaning of tempt.
πειράζω peirazō pi-rad’-zo; From G3984; to test (objectively) that is endeavor,
scrutinize, entice, discipline:
KJV — assay examine go about prove tempt (-er) try.
πεῖρα peira pi’-rah; From the base of G4008 (through the idea of piercing); a test that is attempt experience:
KJV — assaying trial.
πειρασμός peirasmos pi-ras-mos’; From G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good] experience [of evil] solicitation discipline or provocation); by implication adversity:
KJV — temptation x try.
Did you note that it is God’s Spirit which LED Jesus into the desert? Isn’t that in contradiction to, “Lead us not into temptation (G3986), (Matthew 6:13)?” No, Notice Strong’s comment on G3986, temptation has both a good and evil connotation. This is similar to the second key to master Biblical Hebrew, the same word can have opposing meanings. God does TRY us, to see what we’re going to do. He tried His son, Adam, He tried His Son, Jesus. I cannot get into details here, but understand this way of working with humans follows how humans function. Trials are part of the fifth step, justice. God wants to know if we are going to apply His code of ethics (the fourth step). Adam did not, Jesus did.
Adam and Eve saw the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was, “good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes.” The stones looked like stones, but being very hungry, Jesus could picture, a steak and vegetables, or whatever He enjoyed eating. This first trial appealed to exactly the same human desires Adam and Eve had. Remember that the Serpent quoted God, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden (Gen. 3.1).” People think that quoting authority will carry an argument, often it does, wrongly. Jesus replied with an authoritative quote. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” See also John 17:17.
Adam succumbed to the temptation, Jesus overcame the temptation.
What the Devil did, is understandable from its point of view. The pinnacle was the highest point, the southeastern corner of the wall surrounding the Temple mount. Between the height of the wall and the depth of the Kidron Valley far below, we’re talking about the height of a 40-story building, maybe more, but not much less.
5 Then the devil takes him up into the holy city, and sets him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt (G1598) the Lord your God.
I’ve always had difficulty understanding Christ’s reply, until I used another translation for the word tempt.
ἐκπειράζω ekpeirazō ek-pi-rad’-zo; From G1537 and G3985; to test thoroughly:
KJV — tempt.
Tempt (G1598) comes from G3985 which, as we saw above is associated with G3986. The word to use is provoke. Don’t provoke God. That’s what Jesus replied to the Devil. Please do a study of the word provoke at UnlockBibleMeaning.com. You’ll find verses like Numbers 14:11, “And the LORD said to Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?” Here’s someone provoking Christ, “Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting (G3985) him, and saying,” There nothing wrong asking question, to the contrary. But, is it for your own edification or just to confound the other person? The latter is provoking, a blatant temptation.
In other words, in Numbers, God says to the Israelites, I’ve done everything for you, I’ve shown you who I am. Yet, they still don’t believe Me. That’s provoking God. Asking for signs and wonders, when you should know better, is a provocation.
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shewed it to them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
If anyone was without excuse, it was Adam. He knew where he came from and had direct contact with his Maker. He knew where Eve came from and had no excuse. Our present generation provokes God. With our scientific discoveries of this planet and indeed the Universe, we should be witnessing His eternal power and Godhead, instead, like Adam and Eve, we’re provoking Him. We’re attributing the wonders of creation to other origins, taking God out of the picture. That is a provocation.
Jesus knew His God, His eternal power, He didn’t hesitate or flinch. He had the faith to know that when God wants to He will intervene directly to take care of you. At the end of Jesus’ trial, God did send the angels to minister to Him (verse 11).
Adam succumbed to the temptation, he provoked God, Jesus overcame the temptation.
The biggest trial of all because of the nature of Christ, the Savior of Humankind.
8 Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship (corresponds to avad) the Lord your God, and him only shalt you serve (avad). (ie dress and keep garden, ).
Remember that Jesus is Yahveh, He created that high mountain, He created Adam and Eve and thus, all the nations and their glory. At the outset, Yahveh said, “It is very good,” Now, as Christ surveyed the world from this peak, His creation was groaning, in need of proper rulership. Jesus is that Leadership. But, it wasn’t the time and He wasn’t going to take orders from the Devil, which is exactly what Adam and Eve did, specifically Adam.
Again, remember. God put the first man in the Garden “to dress and keep it (Gen. 2:15).” The Explanation showed you that dress is the translation of avad which means SERVE and WORSHIP. The Serpent was asking Jesus to do EXACTLY what it had asked Adam to do, and what God told Adam to reserve for God alone. We are to serve and worship God, and nothing else.
עָבַד ʻâbad aw-bad’; a primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication, to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.:
KJV — ⨯ be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, +husbandman, keep, labour(-ing man, bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve(-ing, self), (be, become) servant(-s), do (use) service, till(-er), transgress (from margin), (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper,
“You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shalt you serve.” Jesus iterated the words of the greatest commandment, “You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37–38)
Adam disobeyed the greatest commandment, he succumbed to the temptation. Jesus overcame the temptation and focused on worshipping, serving, and loving His Father.
Christ batted three for three. He was victorious. The Antidote to the Agony of Humankind was underway.
Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
Where Adam and Eve capitulated before the Serpent, Jesus vanquished it. And the Serpent turned tail. Understand, the antidote is not complete, resisting the Devil at the beginning of His Ministry was the first step. Let’s briefly see the next steps in Matthew. In 4:17 Jesus says, “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The Serpent offered Him the kingdoms of this world (verse 8). Jesus turned them down because He knew there’s a better Kingdom coming. BUT, to attain that, humankind MUST REPENT.
Repent is the sixth step in How Humans Function. The Explanation called it self-reproach in Audit of Humankind because repent has a religious connotation. It wasn’t the moment to do otherwise. Now, once Jesus has set in motion the antidote to the agony of humankind, it IS time for Him to preach and tell people to repent. Repentance is, “to be very sorry for something bad you have done in the past and wish that you had not done it.”
Real repentance is the ONLY step that leads to the seventh step of How Humans Function, Forgiveness. That is the next stage of the antidote that Jesus would take at His crucifixion. Isaiah 53:5 and verse 10 reveal a vivid portrait of Christ the servant being, “bruised for our iniquities and wounded as an offering for sin,” That confirms Gen. 3:15, “you (the Serpent) shall bruise his heel.” A very important subject, but it’s another story developed later in Matthew and the other Gospels, which we cannot develop here.
When you repent, that means you’re aware of your OLD LIFE being CONTRARY to God’s way of life. Staying in Matthew, the next context is Matthew 5, a NEW CODE OF ETHICS, “Blessed are the meek, merciful, peacemakers…” This is the code that leads to real peace and prosperity. This is the code that leads to proper RULERSHIP and RELATIONSHIPS.
Please realize what’s happening here. The Explanation started, in 2014, with a question. How would you bring peace and prosperity to Earth? We have now gone full circle and we’ve answered that question. Or rather, we’ve let the Bible, God’s Word, True Theology answer that question.
Peace and prosperity are the results of humans functioning properly. Directing human nature (1st step, coupled with God’s Spirit), and free will (2), to acceptable behavior (3), based on His code of ethics (4), with God’s guidance, correction, rehabilitation, and justice (5). For human beings, this means repentance (6), and forgiveness (7, thanks to Christ’s sacrifice). For those who follow God’s schema, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
Today, we’re still in the 6000 year period allotted to humankind as a part of God’s rehabilitation plan in step 4. The Serpent is still at large doing its wicked work, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8 ). But there will come and end to this timeframe, “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world (the Serpent) be cast out (John 12:31).” Through resisting the temptation at the beginning of His Ministry and the Crucifixion at the end the Serpent’s rule will end, “Concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged (John 16:11).”
As a personal study, consider this. Christ’s Ministry is that of a Lamb. At His resurrection, He is the Lion of the tribe of Juda (Rev. 5:5 ). The beginning of the book of Matthew shows Christ followed this path from submission to His Father to King of Kings. That’s the difference with humankind. Humans want to be kings and queens BEFORE they’re submissive to God. Christ, through His spiritual pathway, became the Lion Who will bruise the head of the serpent. (Header picture of this post).
Curtain rent and The Way is OPEN
Adam and Eve were shooed OUT of the Garden of Eden. From that point onward it was a closed territory. With Christ’s Crucifixion, the curtain that hid the Holy of Holies in the Temple was rent from the top to the bottom (Mark 15:38). God’s Mercy Seat, His Throne was now visible to ALL the Priests who alone could enter the Holy Place, the front 2/3 of the Temple. This was a miracle because before that, seeing the Throne brought the death penalty, except for the High Priest, once a year on Atonement.
By the way, this is why Christ’s followers are referred to as Priests and Kings. They have to be IN the Temple, and there’s a WAY, only ONE WAY, into the Temple. You can study it, It was via the Sacrificial Altar for the forgiveness of sin and the Laver for cleansing at the entry to the Temple.
Those two Old Testament symbols represent Repent (cleansing) and Baptism (burial of your sins via the sacrifice of Christ). Repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38)
Some think that the Cherubims are at the GATES of the Garden. No, they keep the way of the tree of life. Repentance and Baptism are the way into the Temple. Inside we find the Shewbread, (the Word of God), the Lampstand (Holy Spirit), and the Incense Altar (Prayer), all necessary to lead a God-reverent life. That leads past the rent curtain to the Mercy Seat. This is the ONLY WAY to God’s Kingdom and the Tree of Eternal Life. Jesus Christ’s Ministry opened up this WAY.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
4 And whither I go you know, and the way you know.
5 Thomas says to him, Lord, we know not whither you go; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus says to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
I AM the WAY, I AM the TRUTH, I AM the LIFE
Jesus Christ is THE Antidote to the Agony of Humankind. He is the WAY to peace and prrosperity on Earth and eternal peace and prosperity.
This article is an excerpt from chapter 5.6 of the book Agony of Humankind.
A wise man once said, Teach you me, what I do not know.
Let’s get started with The Explanation.
- Inventory of the Universe
- Audit of the Universe
- Audit of Humankind
- Origin of the Universe (Commentary on Genesis 1)
- Origin of Humankind (Commentary on Genesis 1:26–2:7)
- Origin of Woman (Commentary on Genesis 2:8–25)
- Agony of Humankind (Commentary on Genesis 3)
You can read all the books of The Explanation series online. Buy the books at your favorite store. Sam blogs weekly at TheExplanation.com The Explanation masters Biblical Hebrew to help you unlock more in-depth Bible meaning. Free tools to read and study the Bible online.