Summary: In the New Testament it appears that Adam figures powerfully into why Jesus came to die for our sins. But what is it about Adam that would help us better understand why Jesus came to change our lives?
OPEN: Believe it or not, I’ve been told that in S. Dakota there was a town called Paradise… and it was named by two residents. Adam and Eve.
Most people remember the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis. They sinned, they ate of the fruit God commanded them not to eat, and they lost their paradise, and they lost their relationship with God… and they began to die.
Most people believe that it was Eve’s fault that this happened, but when we get to the New Testament, Eve gets a pass and Adam’s the fall guy. In II Timothy 2:14 we’re told that Eve was deceived… but Adam wasn’t. That implies that Adam apparently knew what he was doing.
Now I don’t know what Adam was thinking, but the point is - Adam gets the blame. Romans 5:12 tells us “sin came into the world through one man” NOT through one man and one woman, but one man. Adam!
I Corinthians 15:21-22 says “Since death came through a man (ADAM), the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man (JESUS). For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
Life and Death. Christ brought life… Adam brought death.
Now, what’s interesting is that in I Corinthians 15 (which is a chapter dedicated to explaining the resurrection of Jesus (and of us) from the dead Adam seems to be a central part of the story. It’s like Adam is critical to the gospel.
And I got to thinking… WHY? Why would Adam be so critical to our understanding of the Gospel story. Why would Adam have anything to do with Jesus dying for us and then rising from the dead?
And the more I thought about that, the more I realized just how important Adam was
1st – The story about Adam … explains why God cares. It explains why God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. In Job 7:17 (Job asks God) “What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention?” And in Psalm 8:4 David asks basically the same question: “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”
SO… why would God care? Why would He pay any attention to us? Why would we matter to Him? I mean we’re not that significant; we’re not that impressive; we’re not even that nice to be around a lot of times. So… why would God care? Well, it all goes back to Adam.
Genesis 1 tells us that God created the world in 7 days. And about the 5th and 6th days God started creating living things - Sea creatures, birds, beasts of the field, and He simply SPOKE and they appeared.
But then… God created Adam. God down in the mud and got His hands dirty. “The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Genesis 2:7
God created Adam to be different than any other creation He’d made. Genesis 1:27 says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” In WHOSE image??? IN GOD’S IMAGE.
And that is the answer to the question of: “What is man that God is mindful of us?” He’s mindful of us because we’re made in His image.
ILLUS: At my home I have a dog. His name is Maddux (he’s a BIG dog – 90 lbs. or so). He’s not the smartest dog in the world… but I like him. I buy him food and treats. I take him to vet when he’s sick. And it makes me feel good when he curls up at my feet. I think I’m kind of Alpha dog for him.
But Maddux is not made in my image.
Now I also have my Grandson Benjamin living with me. He’s the son of my daughter. You could say (and I’m going to for the sake of this illustration) that Benjamin is “made in my image” - he’s directly related to me.
• Now, once in a while Benjamin wants to get on my back and do a horsey-ride. So, I’ll put him on my back, hum the tune of the Lone Ranger and off we go down the hallway a few times till one of us gets tired (OK… I get tired). We have a great time! I do that because Benjamin is “made in my image.” But I’m gonna tell you, I’m not gonna carry that dog around the house. I like the dog well enough, but he’s not made in my image… he’s a dog.
• And if Benjamin is hungry I’ll ask him what he wants to eat – if he wants a Hot dog or an Apple or something I’ll try to get it for him. Because I love him. But I never ask that dog what he wants to eat…. I just put his food in a bowl. If he doesn’t like it, that’s too bad. While I like Maddux – he’s not made in my image. But I LOVE Benjamin – he’s made in my image.