Summary: When you think of Old Testament shadows of Christ, Adam usually is not at the top of the list. This lesson shows why he should be near the top of your list.
WHO AM I?
My time on earth did not begin in a natural way. I had no earthly father. I was made in the image of God. I was innocent and without sin. In my innocence, I was tried and tempted by the serpent. I made an important decision which involved a tree that impacted all of history. My decision had both conditional and unconditional consequences. While I was asleep, my side was pierced. After I awoke, I was given a bride; one in whom I could be “one” with. I was also given authority and dominion over God’s creation. Who am I?
There are two people in the Bible which fit this riddle: Adam and the Second Adam – Jesus Christ. Go through the riddle again and see if you can see both.
Adam is referred to as a type/shadow of Jesus Christ in two places within the New Testament, so we should not be surprised to see these kind of parallels. In Romans 5, Paul says, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come” (5:14; also see 1 Cor 15:45-47).
A MIRACULOUS BEGINNING. Both of these men had a miraculous beginning. Adam was created by God on day six from the dust of the ground. He formed him and then breathed life into Him. In Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” He created Adam from the dust of the ground.
MADE WITHOUT SIN: Adam, when he was created by God, did not have sin. He was innocent. He was holy. He had a special relationship with God. Obviously this would not continue through His whole life, which we will talk some more about shortly, but for some time He enjoyed a perfect relationship with God in His presence in the garden. As God’s greatest creation, Adam was created and looked at by God as “very good” (Gen 1:31).
GIVEN AUTHORITY OVER GOD’S CREATION: In the beginning, Adam, as the representative of man, was given dominion over all of God’s creation. He was the preeminent one of God’s creation; in a sense the firstborn of God’s creation. Adam was given dominion over the animals. He was given the privilege of naming them. He was given authority over all plants to eat for food.
GIVEN A WIFE BY GOD: In Genesis 2:21ff, God causes Adam to go into a deep sleep. His side is pierced, a rib is removed. From this rib God created a wife for Adam. When she was brought to Adam after he awoke, he said of her, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
MADE AN IMPORTANT CHOICE REGARDING A TREE THAT AFFECTED ALL HISTORY: In Genesis 3, Adam is tempted by the serpent in the garden. This would be the most important test of his life. If he failed, all of history would be affected by his wrong choice and fall into sin. He did make the wrong decision. Sin entered the world along with all of it’s consequences. The following things occurred because of Adam’s choice:
1. Adam, along with all people afterwards, lost access to the tree of life. Because of this all men will die physically. Paul, speaking in the context of Christ’s (and our) bodily resurrection says in 1 Corinthians 15:21, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” If Christ does not return in our lifetime, we all will die. There will be no exceptions. We do not have a choice in this.
2. Men begun to be separated from God because of their sin. Fellowship was lost. Paul says in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” This choice brought [spiritual] death to all of those who followed [and still follow] in Adam’s steps by sinning. As a side note, this passage is NOT teaching that all men are born sinners because of Adam’s sin. It does not say that the guilt of Adam’s sin was imputed to anyone. It says that because all men sin, the death and condemnation that Adam received also spread to us.