Through Adam death came to all, but, through Jesus life comes to all – all who come to Him for life.
Where did man come from? Why is there evil in the world? Why is there death and suffering? Why does man AND woman exist? Why is mankind so apparently different than the rest of the creatures on this planet?
What do all these questions have in common? They have Adam in common. Discussing any of these questions meaningfully means the name “Adam” is going to come up.
Created on day 6. He awoke fully matured mind, no developing, no mother or father, no nursing at his mother’s breast, no father’s hand of discipline, no adolescence (no zits! Which came after the Fall!) Perfect health – no allergies, sickness, flu, cancer, headaches, joint pain, back pain,….. perfect morality (absence of evil in him or around him), perfect relationship with God, perfect relationship with animals, productive satisfying work, perfect environment in unimaginable flourishing of a pristine wilderness.
The Lord breathed the breath of life into Adams lifeless physical body and behold, the man’s eyes opened and he breathed in the first breath of humanity. Instantly his eyes took in all the beauty around him, beginning in that very moment the catalogue of memory, for this is the first moment of his existence . Looking up seeing the blue sky, radiant sunlight, lush vegetation, soft grass, and then, did He sit up and see the LORD next to him? Face to face? The man beholding his Maker?
Why does Adam matter to us?
#1: Adam is the First Man
Adam is significant because he is the first human being ever. Genesis begins in order, starting with the beginning of the created universe. For 6 days God created, and, on the 6th day God created Adam, the first ever human being. Turn to Genesis 1:26-27 with me and follow along. [Read].
No man was yet in existence in this wonderfully created heavens and earth. God’s creative work was building up towards the creation of man, for all of it during the first 5 ½ days was under the rulership of the creature to come: man, who would be made last.
The fact that Adam and Eve were the first humans is underscored by verse 28 where they are commanded to be fruitful and multiply. God intended that starting with them the world would become populated with human beings.
Notice it is nowhere hinted that any sort of humans were before Adam. There were no transitional species before him that were evolving from earlier animal species into a human being. The land animals were created on the same day as man, day 6, and the fish and birds were all created the day before on day 5 (Gen. 1:20-25). Adam was the instant, complete, glorious creation of an eternal God’s hand. Quoting Genesis 2:7, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “The first man, Adam, became a living being…the first man was of the dust of the earth” Adam is the first human being in history.
#2: Adam is the Father of the Human Race.
This means he is the father of every human being in history. Every human being ever who lived traces their lineage all the way back to him. Black, white, hispanic, asian, indian, native american, middle eastern, african….
Racism is all over the news these days but if everyone believed the Bible’s account of creation there would be no basis for racism. Everyone comes from the same human father: Adam. Everyone, therefore, bears the image of God. Everyone, therefore, is just as much human as anyone else, regardless of race or ethnicity.
The idea that some races are superior to other races most certainly has a foundation in evolution. If one color group is further evolved than other groups, and is more successfully surviving, and if the preservation of one’s species is what its all about by making sure your genes pass to the next generation, then of course we would see how people could use such a worldview to justify racism. People could say, “Hey, we want to make sure we as the most advanced, intelligent, successful, powerful group continues on. We’ve climbed tooth and claw to the top of this world and might makes right so we are right. And, the could say, “Besides, why would we want inferior genes getting passed forward to the next generation when we can pass on the best evolution has produced yet?” Sound familiar? It should. It was the social application of evolutionary science Hitler used to justify his Nazi programs of genocide.
Say what you want, but, how you act is determined by what you believe about who you are and where you came from and where you’re going.
But what if everyone didn’t evolve? What if everyone descends not from monkeys, not from fish or slime, but, instead from a man. A perfectly created man with no flaw – physically, emotionally, mentally, morally and spiritually. That is in fact what the Bible claims: that we all came from the man, Adam. If you want to solve the race issue then get Biblical.
#3: Adam’s Fall Corrupted all of Creation.
The earth is corrupted. Genesis 3:17; Rom. 8:19-21
The human race is corrupted. Rom 5:12, 18-19
Everything right now is abnormal. It may not seem like it because there is considerable similarity all humans have with each other and in that sense its all we know. But We are not abnormal compared to each other, or compared to what we see here and now. We are abnormal compared to the original design. We are abnormal compared to the perfection of Adam when he was created by God as the first human. Adam, before he sinned, was normal. That is the normal for humanity. After Adam sinned, he became abnormal, and, so did everyone else after him because we all came from him.
Theologically what we are talking about here is death. Adam plunged himself and all of us into death. The command was: Don’t eat or you will die. Satan said, “You won’t die, go ahead and eat.” Adam ate, and, Adam died. But that death is comprehensive. The physical process of degenerating until he died began with his sin and lasted for 930 years until he finally died. But spiritual death occurred immediately in Adam. He became separated from God spiritually. In his spirit Adam died. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Understand this, the institution of animal sacrifice happened immediately after Adam sinned. Genesis 3:21 says God made coverings for Adam and Eve, the first ever wardrobe. He made it from animal skin. The first ever physical death to happen on earth was an animal that God killed and skinned to clothe Adam and Eve so their naked shame could be covered up. With that first killing God instituted the practice of animal sacrifice. Since then idolatrous religions have copied what God established for Himself. Satan and demons have led men to offer animal sacrifices to them, in worship of them instead of the one true God. Animal sacrifice is not something the Bible got from other religions. Other religions got it from God.
But we must understand the significance of this animal sacrifice. The shedding of blood brought covering of sin. That is the definition of atonement: covering over. Furthermore, it was not shedding of Adam and Eve’s blood, but, it was the shedding of someone else’s blood. A substitute was offered to God in their place. That first lamb or deer or cow was the first death sacrifice to foreshadow the death sacrifice of Jesus Christ that would come later.
#4: Adam was the Pattern of the Last Adam
Finally, Adam is the pattern of the Last Adam. In 1 Corinthians 15:45-49
The first Adam brought in corruption to the human race and destined to death every human being who would ever be born. But the Last Adam, Jesus Christ, who came in the flesh, came to solve the problem of the first Adam. All those animals were merely foreshadows of Jesus and His sacrifice that would come later in history. Jesus, fully human, yet, without sin, came to be the human sacrifice to take on the moral guilt and penalty of the human race. He came to die in place of humanity so that through Him men could receive life. Through Adam death came to all, but, through Jesus life comes to all – all who come to Him for life.
Understanding ourselves involves seeing what Adam was before the Fall and what he became after. On both sides of that event are elements of our humanity informing us of who we are today and why God has done everything He has done in human history.