And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam … and took one of his ribs… Genesis 2:21 KJV

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man…then He took one of his ribs … Genesis 2:21 NASB

Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him. Genesis 4:8 KJV

Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Genesis 4:8 NASB

All the fountains of the great deep (were) broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened… Genesis 7:11 KJV

All the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. Genesis 7:11 NASB

A death-like deep sleep, a slaying, and a storm are all contained within the first six chapters of human history. God ‘lost’ no time in giving us pictures of what was occupying the minds of the Godhead eternally. It is as if God ‘could not wait’ to begin to reveal to humanity, in pictures and events, what would occur on a hill outside Jerusalem centuries later. Each of the three pictures reveals a different aspect of the cross and a differing result.

Adam’s sleep was a picture of death. Was this Day 1 of Adam’s existence? Had he ever known sleep before? Was it a new experience, moving into a realm he had never stepped into before? We are not told but can only conjecture.

Adam was put to sleep by God and, from his side, there was formed a bride suitable for him as his help-meet, consort, companion and the object for his love. God was indicating in this initial picture the fruit of Calvary’s work. For Adam it was sleep which prefigured death. But for the Lord Jesus, He “tasted” death in all its reality and sorrow.

A brother rose up and slew a brother. Fratricide at the dawn of human history!  The New Testament tells us why this occurred: Cain was of the wicked one and Abel was righteous. It is interesting to note that to Abel’s name in the New Testament is added the description, “righteous” on each occasion. The hatred and malice of the act is what impresses us. In this glimpse of the sufferings of Christ, the Lord is telling us something of the fierceness of human hatred against Christ. The ultimate result of the confrontation of absolute holiness with human depravity was the slaying of the righteous man.

The storm that broke over the ark, engulfing the earth in its awful intensity, reminds us of the fury of the judgment He endured at Calvary. The windows of heaven and the fountains of the great deep opened to crush His holy soul on the cross.

A sleep, a storm, a slaying: in these three we see a bride, blood, and a body of believers as the result of the events.


Follow through in Genesis and see some of the other pictures of the cross.