CHRIST IN GENESIS 1
Now let us consider what Christ is in the first chapter of Genesis. First, there is the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of God in Genesis 1:2 is the Spirit of Christ, who is Christ Himself (Rom. 8:9-10). When the Spirit came, He brought the Word of God, and the Word of God is Christ Himself (John 1:1). Then there is the light. This is also Christ Himself (John 1:4; 8:12). The Spirit, the Word, and the light are all Christ Himself.
On the second day there was the firmament, the dividing element. This is the cross, the death of Christ. Where the cross is, there is always the dividing. At Calvary, on the day of the Lord’s crucifixion, the cross was in the middle dividing the saved one from the perishing one (Luke 23:32-33, 39-43). Whenever we receive Christ and His cross, there is always a dividing element within us to divide the things above, the heavenly things, from the things underneath, the earthly things (Col. 3:1-3).
Then, as we have pointed out, on the third day was the land. The good land of Canaan is the all-inclusive type of Christ (Josh. 14:1; Col. 1:12). God’s bringing the people of Israel into this land is a type of His saving us from the world and bringing us into Christ. Christ is the land in which we walk, that is, in which we live, act, behave, and have our being (Col. 2:6).
Christ is also typified by the trees. In Genesis 2:9 the tree of life is a type of Christ. In Exodus 15:23-25 we see another tree. One day, when the children of Israel came to Marah, they could not drink of the bitter waters there. Jehovah told Moses to cast a tree into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. That tree is also a type of Christ. In Song of Songs 2:3, the apple tree, which some think is a sort of orange tree, is also a type of Christ. Ezekiel 34:29 mentions “a plant of renown.” This famous plant is Christ. Isaiah 11:1 says that “a twig will come forth from the stem of Jesse,/And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.” Both the twig and the branch signify Christ. Then in John 15 the Lord told us that He is the vine tree (vv. 1, 5). Christ is the reality of the trees.
On the fourth day we see the sun as a type of Christ. Christ is the Sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2) with the church, His Body, as the moon reflecting His light and all His members as stars (cf. Gen. 37:9-11).
Then on the fifth day were the fish and the birds. Christ is typified by a bird. In Leviticus we are told that sometimes the burnt offerings had to be offered with turtledoves or young pigeons (1:14), which are types of Christ. Moreover, Christ is also signified by a fish. In John 6 the Lord fed five thousand people with five barley loaves and two fish (vv. 1-15). The barley loaves are of the vegetable life and signify Christ as the generating life. Fish are of the animal life and signify Christ as the redeeming life. Thus, the living creatures in the water also typify Christ.
On the sixth day were the beasts, the cattle, and the creeping things on the earth. Revelation 5:5 tells us that Christ is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He is also the Lamb (John 1:29; 1 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 22:1, 3). The creeping things, with the serpent as the leading one, represent the enemy of Christ, but even Christ Himself came in the form of the serpent. John 3:14 says, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” When Christ was crucified on the cross, He was in the form of the serpent but was without the serpent’s poison.
Eventually, there was the man Adam. The first Adam was a figure of the last Adam, who is Christ (1 Cor. 15:45; Rom. 5:14). Moreover, Adam as the first man was a figure of Christ as the second man (1 Cor. 15:47).
This gives us a hint concerning how many items in Genesis 1 refer to Christ. The central thought of God is that Christ will be the expression of God through His church, shining all the time in life. Adam was a prefigure, a type, of Christ. Christ is the last Adam. Adam had the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and 2 Corinthians 4:4 says that Christ is the image of God. Christ as the image of God is the expression of God.
Furthermore, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Christ (Matt. 28:18). Genesis 1 is related to Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2. In Psalm 8 the psalmist referred to Genesis 1, and in Hebrews 2 the apostle spoke the same thing. The man in these portions of the Word points to Christ. Christ is the very man with the image of God and with the authority of God. He expresses God and represents God. He is everything.
(The Central Thought of God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)