Summary: Why was Jesus raised from the dead?

In Genesis 1-2, we read the Creation account and how God planned for us to live. In the midst of it all, a recurring phrase appears. Six times after God creates something the text says, "and God saw that it was good." He is pleased. Things are the way He intended for them to be.

On day six, the human race comes on the scene. With this final work of creation, God's assessment changes from "good" to "very good." Then the unexpected happens. Up until this point, everything was as God intended, but in Genesis 2:18, God says something is incomplete and, therefore, "not good." We are told that God looked at the man and said, "It is not good for the man to be alone," and then went on to create Eve as a companion for Adam. Notice what God said when He created man as male and female.

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."- Genesis 1:26-27 (NIV)

To be created in God's image refers to man's spiritual capability. Mankind, alone among all created beings, has the capability to commune with God. God's intention was that as man lived in meaningful connection with His creator, he would then reflect the likeness of God, live in the right way God intended, know the blessings God intended, and lead all creation to bring glory to God.

Notice, however, another aspect of what it means to be created in God's image. God says, "let US make man in our image." Some say God is speaking to the angels. But angels have no creative power. No, God is speaking to Himself, addressing Himself as the triune God. The Bible tells us that our God is a trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -living in perpetual and eternal community and harmony with Himself.

God is a relational being, and being created in His image means that He created human beings to find their fulfillment in rightly relating to God and to their fellow man. God is a relational being and He created us with the need for significant relationships as well.

"God created us with a hunger for relationship -for relationship with Him and with our fellow people. At our very core we are relational beings. The soul cannot prosper without being connected to others." - Dr. Henry Cloud

So, mankind was living in right relationship with God, one another, and the rest of creation. All was right with the universe, until sin entered the picture. This is portrayed by what we are told about Adam and Eve:

"The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."- Genesis 1:25 (NIV)

This doesn't mean that they didn't have enough sense to know they should put some clothes on, but that they had nothing to hide.

There was nothing that produced shame or guilt, in either their relationship with God or one another. But all that was about to change.

Because God designed man to be fulfilled in meaningful relationship, He created man with the capacity to choose. If a relationship is to be meaningful, it cannot be forced, it must be chosen. God wanted man to choose to relate to Him, therefore, there had to be the opportunity for the choice to be made. Hence, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said that man could either choose either choose to go his own way or to go God's way.

If he chose God's way, he would be blessed with life. If he chose his own way, he would be cursed with death. Sadly, man chose his way over God's way. Notice the result:

"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, 'Where are you?' He answered, I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'" - Genesis 3:7-10 (NIV)

Because of man's choice to go his own way (sin) he now experienced the penalty for that choice - death, damaging all of man's relationships:

A. It damaged man's relationship with himself - man felt guilt and shame for the first time ever (v. 10).

B. It damaged man's relationship with his fellow man - Adam and Eve felt guilt and shame in their relationship with one another (v. 7).

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