The Debt, and the Perfect Satisfaction

Way back at the beginning, we have the short account of Adam and Eve. God made both of them and placed them in His garden to tend it. They were welcome to eat of every tree in the garden save one, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

As the account goes, the woman is beguiled and deceived and eats. She gives to Adam and he eats. It’s that action that is the source of suffering in this world.

We pick up the account here…

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Genesis 3:7 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)

Something immediately changed. Though it’s not explicit in the text, they lost a covering they had before. That will be for you to explore.

Then they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

Genesis 3:8–9 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)

I love when God asks a question. He’s not looking for information. The question is intended to get to the root of the problem.

He said, “ I heard Your voice in the garden and was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.”
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

Genesis 3:10–11 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)

Adam answers with a confession. God follows up with two other questions.

The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

Genesis 3:12 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)

Adam again confesses what he did. There are those that read it only as a sort of blaming… I used to think the same way. Now I view it as a confession of the truth. One that comes encumbered with the knowledge of suffering and how to alleviate it. Adam transferred the attention from him to Eve.

God then asks Eve a question. She answers.

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?”
And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Genesis 3:13 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)

It’s that answer that needs examination.

The word deceived is the Hebrew word nasha which means to cheat, to deceive. To dig beyond the text, we need a Hebrew lexicon. In examining the word, there is another identical word with a different meaning. That word nasha means to lend on interest or to credit someone.

If we look at it that way, Eve became a debtor at interest. The Bible has another word for that kind of transaction… Usury. The English word comes from a Latin root that means to use. It makes sense.

Eve was in a debt only satisfied by death. As long as she lived, she was a debtor to her sin. And she was used to getting to Adam and placing him in the same predicament.. Both became indebted to sin.

Think about debt and how it enslaves. Our whole modern existence is based on debt. But that is an advanced topic for another post.

The Perfect Satisfaction

Of course, we reap what we sow, and it was no different for Adam and Eve. They were expelled from the garden. But God left a hint in the curse to the deceiver.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”

Genesis 3:15 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)

The pronouns are important, and for our purposes, I only point out that the woman’s Seed is a singular He… Not her, not they.

That He is Jesus.

His whole life was purposed for one thing. To satisfy the creditor. That happened at the cross. It is John who tells us clearly what happened at the moment Jesus died.

After this, Jesus, knowing that everything was now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst.” A bowl full of sour wine was placed there. So they put a sponge full of sour wine on hyssop and held it to His mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished.” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

John 19:28–30 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)

There is a Greek word that appears here two times. It is tetelestai. In the above text, the first usage is translated as accomplished. The second by Jesus… Translated to “It is finished.”

Yes, tetelestai means those things. But there is an expanded idea. In the times the New Testament was written, the word tetelestai was written on business receipts to show they were paid in full.

When Jesus cried “tetelestai!” It signaled that the debt had been completed and satisfied.

Because Eve was the way to Adam. Adam ate, enslaving himself to sin that only death could satisfy. The enemy’s hope was that God would exact justice and humans would be gone. Yet, there was a reprieve of justice… A reprieve from the last Adam, Jesus.

Jesus is the Perfect Satisfaction of the debt of death incurred by every single sin that humans do.

When the enemy tries to shame you and hold the claim you to sin… Tell him “Paid in full by Jesus.”

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