February 2014 Letter
The core of the whole Bible is the person of Christ, and our contemplation this month is about symbols or personalities that point clearly to our Lord Jesus Christ from the book of Genesis:
- Creation was by “The Word”, the term “God said” was repeated in the first chapter 9 times, to confirm that creation was through the Word (the Son) by whom “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1: 3).
- The tree of life in the middle of the garden of Eden, of which if man ate he would live forever (Gen 3: 22), points to our Lord Jesus Christ the tree that is offering life to the whole world (John 3: 36), who said “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6: 54).
- Seventh day: as God completed all the work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day, similarly Christ fulfilled all the work of salvation in six days and hung upon the cross on the sixth day at the time of the sixth hour, then rested in the tomb on the seventh day from the sufferings and the pain of the cross.
- The story of creating Eve from Adam’s side is a symbol of creating the church from the side of Christ; the second Adam.
- The promise of salvation by the seed of woman that bruise the head of the serpent.
- Enoch that lived in righteousness and did not die but God took him to heaven, is a symbol of the Living Christ who lived among us on earth in righteousness, and after His death ascended to heaven by the power of His divinity.
- Melchizedek is a symbol of Christ in many aspects, so that St. Paul says about him “made like the Son of God” (Heb 7: 3).
- The story of slaughtering Isaac the only and beloved son of Abraham, refers to Jesus Christ who is the only Son and beloved Son of God the Father, who offered Him a sacrifice on the mount of Golgotha.
- The ladder that Jacob saw ascending from earth to heaved (Gen 28: 12), and angels ascending and descending on it, is a symbol of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ which brought reconciliation between heaved and earth.
- Jacob who took the birthright from his brother when he took his image by wearing his clothes that his mother gave him, and thus confused his father, is a symbol of Christ who took a body from the virgin St. Mary and confused the Jews and the devil.
Asking you to remember the church, priests, servants and all services always in your prayers, may the blessing of St. Mary & St. Mercurius be with us all.
Fr. Youssef Halim & Fr. Luke Istafanous
Belleville, February 1, 2014