Bereshith


When I began to write a blog to go with this painting “Bereshith”, I was faced with the dilemma of making a spiritually complex subject simple and clear.


I hope that I achieved this – even if only partially.


Bereshith is the first word of the Torah. It translates as “In the beginning…” or “Genesis”. The word invokes new life, a fresh start, and has connotations of birth and beginnings. In a spiritual context, Bereshith / Genesis is tied up with creation, the origin of the universe and the birth of life itself, as well as the source of creation – which we know to be God.


This concept of birth and beginnings is mirrored in the opening words of the book of John in the New Testament:


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4 ESV.


What does John mean by “the Word”? “The Word” was a term used by theologians and philosophers, both Jews and Greeks. In Hebrew Scripture and thought, the Word was an agent of creation. We can see this reflected throughout Genesis when God created the universe, and in the Psalm below.


“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6 NIV.


This biblical truth comes full circle when we continue to read John 1 and we understand that Yeshua, the Son of God, is a physical form of the Word.


“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” John 1:14 ESV.


From these passages of scripture, in the Torah and the New Testament, we know that Yeshua, the Son of God, was with God at the “genesis” of the Universe. It also reveals to us that our world was created through Him and with Him.


Yeshua was always one with God, from before the beginning of time. We see this in the very language of Genesis 1:1 which reads, in Hebrew: ‘In the beginning, God created…’. The Hebrew for ‘God’ is Elohim, which is a plural word. The Hebrew verb ‘created’, however, is singular! This confirms what we have read above, in John 1: 1-4! Furthermore, Genesis 1:26 reads, ‘And God (plural word) said (singular verb), ‘Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness.’ (emphasis mine)


Yeshua was also part of God’s plan for our salvation from the beginning and we can see evidence of His existence throughout the Torah, long before the events of the New Testament took place. Even the crucifixion of Jesus for our sins was prophesied in the Tenach, in the book of Isaiah:


“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – everyone – to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” Isaiah 53:4-6 ESV.


Likewise, in both the books of Genesis (Bereshith) and John (Johanan) we read that Light was the first revelation of the Creator.


In returning to the opening passage of Genesis, we read further:


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness” Genesis 1:1-4 NIV.


Furthermore, when we read the rest of John 1, it goes to say:


“…In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1: 4 - 5 ESV.


One of the most famous scriptures on Yeshua can be found further on, in John 8:


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” John 8:12 NIV.


The true light of our world is not the sun, but rather the Son of God. He was with God at the beginning of creation, the earth and life itself was formed through Him, He came to earth to bring us eternal life and salvation by dying for our sins on the cross. Through Yeshua, we have access to the true light that can overcome the darkness.


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