By The Jesus Bible
JESUS AS THE LAST ADAM
It has been said that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. To reinterpret this quote in light of redemptive history, one might say that believers who fail to understand where they have come from will also fail to understand where humanity has been, where they themselves, as followers of Christ, are now and where they are going.
Paul helps his readers see the overwhelming consequence of Adam’s sin. When the “one man” of verse 12 disobeyed God’s direct command, sin and death entered the world. Adam represented all future humanity. He was, in many ways, the first and best hope of humanity: there was and never would be a more idyllic situation in which to have perfect and unbroken fellowship with God, and yet he fell. With Adam’s choice to sin came the inherited implications to every person born into Adam’s race: namely, that all people have a sinful nature at their core. All people are born into sin; all are under the curse of disobedience that came from the Garden of Eden. Any parent can testify to the truth that they never taught their toddlers how to be selfish; they came by that inclination naturally.
But Jesus Christ is the new and last Adam. Adam faced temptation in the garden under the best of circumstances; Jesus Christ faced temptation in another garden under the worst of circumstances. Adam bent to his selfish pride and desire to be like God. Jesus withstood temptation and submitted himself to the will of God. Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people” (Ro 5:18). But there’s even more.
As Paul wrote, although the disobedience that brought about condemnation and alienation was purely evil, the work of Jesus did more good. Through the cross, Jesus overcame sin and death and is now able to bring sons and daughters of God into glory. Where Adam failed, Jesus won.
Jesus, I know I was born like Adam—sinful, selfish, fallen—and I know that on my own, I had no hope for redemption. I cannot thank you enough for redeeming me through your death on the cross. Amen.
12 Therefore as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned. 13 For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins weren’t like Adam’s disobedience, who is a foreshadowing of him who was to come. 15 But the free gift isn’t like the trespass. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not as through one who sinned: for the judgment came by one to condemnation, but the free gift came of many trespasses to justification. 17 For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one trespass, all men were condemned; even so through one act of righteousness, all men were justified to life. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one, many will be made righteous. 20 The law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly; 21 that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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