John begins his gospel with the opening words from Genesis. “In the beginning” was easily recognizable by the Jewish community and, as we learned in class, “the Word” held great significance to them as well. the Greeks recognized the words of John chapter 1 as the expressed mindset of a master planner; God’s wisdom personified (Logos). it was also mentioned that John relays the seven days of creation through the accounts and events of his writings. i want to expound upon this thought and offer that not only do we see the creation week in the life of Jesus, but through His death and resurrection, we witness the eighth day of creation.
quickly moving through the Genesis days of creation, God makes the heavens and the earth and then establishes an order for light known as day and night. the next day, He separates the firmaments to form water and atmosphere. on the third day, God speaks dry ground into existence with its plants and trees. the following days, hang the sun, moon, and stars in their place, followed by the creation of creatures in the sea and birds in the air. on the sixth day, land creatures appear, and man is formed from the dust of the ground. finally, God rested and saw that everything He had made was very good!
Brian Phillips presents that John echoes the creation week throughout his gospel in the following manner, “He is the light of the world (Day One), The Son of God descended from Heaven (Day Two), He is the vine Who also gives His blood for wine (Day Three), Christ is the King of Heaven, the One who separates light from darkness (Day Four), He is the living water (Day Five), Christ is the image of the Father, the God-man, the Word made flesh (Day Six), and In Him, we find perfect rest (Day Seven).” 1 apart from this summary, Brian writes in his blog of the specific actions that echo the creation events.
the eighth day is not a new concept in Jewish history. certain things had to happen on the eighth day, according to the Law of Moses, that every devout Jew would instantly understand. firstly, the vow of the Nazarite required a time of separation where he would not drink wine or strong drink. the vow separated an individual from eating anything made of any part of the vine tree. he would not be allowed to use a razor or come into contact with a dead body. according to Number 6, the Nazarite would come to the priest at the tabernacle with an offering of consecration on the eighth day. a burnt offering, a sin offering, a peace offering, a meat offering, a drink offering, and a wave offering were all offered as a sacrifice to God. they offered every type of worship voluntarily to consecrate someone to some particular service. the length of the vow was also up to the person committing; there was not a set time or requirement.2
in Leviticus 8, we read of the anointing of Aaron and his sons and the sin offering. it details the ram of consecration and the wave offering. Moses tells them in verses 33 through 35 (KJV, Tyndale 1987), “And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you. As he hath done this day, so the Lord hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you. Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the Lord, that ye die not: for so I am commanded.” this procedure was accomplished for Aaron and his sons to be consecrated and for atonement. they were not allowed to exit the tabernacle until the time appointed, which was seven full days, or on the eighth day.
the Feast of Tabernacles, or the Feast of Booths (Sukkot), was a time to thank God for all of the preceding year’s provision and to pray for a good rainy season, which lasted from October through March.3 mentioned in Leviticus 23, it reads, “on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly, and ye shall do no servile work therein.” the English Standard Version translates servile work to, “you shall not do any ordinary work.” the eighth day of this feast commands worship involving fire and no ordinary work.
another principle using the eighth day was the practice of bringing every baby boy to be circumcised. “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant” (Genesis 17:12-13). even Jesus was not exempt from this practice as a token of the Abrahamic covenant (Luke 2:21).
several other practices or officially recognized acts of consecration happened on the eighth day. young animals set aside for sacrifice were ceremonially unclean before their eighth day (Leviticus 22:27). when completely healed, unclean persons with leprosy or other disease or issues were to be isolated for seven days and present themselves to the priest on the eighth day to be proclaimed clean (Leviticus 14:10). along with Aaron, his sons, the tabernacle, altar, and all vessels of the ministry were seven days in the purification process. on the eighth day, the purity of all became established (Leviticus 8).