Foundations of Our Faith February 2003
The First and Last Adams
What do you think about when you hear the names Adam and Eve? There are numerous things associated with this infamous couple, but I think it would be safe to say that they are most remembered for introducing sin into the world. If only they could have kept their hands off of that forbidden fruit!
I think there are a few common misconceptions about the events that transpired in the Garden of Eden. For instance, the blame for the fall of mankind is often placed at Eve's feet, but if we look at Scripture we can see clearly that she was in fact deceived by the serpent (I Tim. 2:14). It was Adam who knowingly and willfully disobeyed the mandate of the Lord God. But why would he do that? I think there's only one answer - love.
Eve was not only Adam's mate, she was literally a part of him. She was created by God's own hands from Adam's rib. This was no mere case of infatuation. This was true, deep love and intimacy. Prior to Eve's deception, there had been perfect communion between Adam and Eve, just as there had been perfect communion between the couple and their Creator. There was no separation between any of them. Then along came the serpent and the rest, as they say, is history.
Aside from mankind's separation from God and the introduction of sin into God's creation, another result of Adam's disobedience was his relinquishing his God-given position as overseer of the planet. Adam had been holding the title deed, if you will, and when he chose to follow his wife into sin he forfeited his holding. This is why, years later, we see this exchange between Jesus and Satan:
Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them. And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. - Matthew 4:8-10
Notice that Jesus never said that the kingdoms weren't Satan's to give. Satan does in fact hold legal title to the earth. But rather than accepting the kingdoms from Satan, Jesus did not compromise His mission or His position. He knew what it would mean if He tried to do an end run around God's plan of redemption. The temptation was laid before Him, but Jesus did not succumb to it - thank God!
Speaking of Jesus and God's plan of redemption, did you know that it is not only the souls of men that Jesus came to redeem? In Romans 8:19-23, we see that creation is also waiting to be set free from its bondages of decay. Just as we who believe in the risen Son of God have the assurance that our complete redemption will indeed take place, creation is waiting for its complete redemption as well. Now, if Adam was the one who brought this decay into the world and Jesus is the one who will remove it, when and how will it be done?
The first thing that must take place is the transfer of title back to the original owner - God. Just as in ancient times, we see in Scripture this title deed as a scroll with the terms of redemption written on the outside of the scroll. The scroll can only be opened, or redeemed, by one who is able to meet these conditions. (There is a beautiful example of this type of transaction in the Book of Ruth, where we see Boaz in the role of kinsman-redeemer.) Where in Scripture do we see the scroll that is the earth's title deed? In Revelation 5:1-5.
In John's vision he weeps when no one on the face of the earth, in heaven, or in the depths of Hades can be found to open the scroll. John knew that if the conditions on the scroll could not be met then Satan would remain in possession of the earth and we'd all be in a very big mess. But then we see that One was found who could meet the requirements on the scroll in order to redeem the earth - the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, our Kinsman-Redeemer, the Lord Yeshua. It is the opening of this scroll and the breaking of its seals that is the focus of much of the remainder of the book of Revelation.
So, just as sin was brought into the world through the first Adam's disobedience to God, so will the redemption of creation come through the obedience of the last Adam, Yeshua. It is also through Yeshua's obedience that our relationship with God the Father has been restored to its original purpose - unbroken fellowship with our Creator. There are some other parallels between Adam and Yeshua as well.
Just as Adam knowingly and willingly stepped out of his rightful place to join his bride in her fallen condition, so too did Yeshua. He knowingly and willingly stepped out of His rightful place beside the Father in heaven in order to enter into our lowly, broken state. Why? Because He loves us.
Where Adam failed by forfeiting what was legally his, Yeshua has and will fully redeem. Because Yeshua was able to live a blameless life, never falling into the temptations set before Him, He is the only One able to redeem creation. Yeshua, the last Adam, our Kinsman-Redeemer, our Bridegroom, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He came to undo the consequences of the first Adam. The only question left is whether you will accept Him and what He has done for you. Won't you take the hand of the One who loves you so much that He laid down His life to be with you for all eternity? Click here to find out just how simple it can be.
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