We are currently going through the Old Testament, discovering how Jesus is foreshadowed in various ways. The bible itself tells us some of the ways that Jesus is foreshadowed and today’s subject is one of those, the first man, Adam.
This is specifically mentioned at least twice in the New Testament;
Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. (Romans 5:14)
The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)
A shadow does not necessarily have to have a lot of similarities; it can also be a shadow by highlighting contrasts. That is what we find with a comparison with Adam and Jesus. Adam was the first man and Jesus is described as the second or last Adam.
Before we look at the similarities and differences of the two, it is important to consider what the term ‘federal head’ means. Both Adam and Jesus are federal heads. This is where each represents those that come after them; they are the template of all that follow after them. So for example, everybody that is descended from Adam is inclined to sin, everyone that puts their trust in Jesus is inclined towards loving and following God. The bible describes this as being ‘in’ Adam or ‘in’ Christ. Let’s look at a couple of verses:
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. (Romans 5:18)
So let’s look at how the first Adam was a shadow of the last Adam, Jesus;
- They both had a miraculous beginning. Adam was made from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7) whilst Jesus was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23)
- The first Adam was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). The second Adam is the image of the invisible God ( Colossians 1:15)
- They are both rulers. Adam was given dominion over the created world
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)
Adam’s rule was limited but Jesus rules over all
when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church (Ephesians 1:20-22)
- They were both tempted by Satan (I’m assuming that ‘the serpent’ was Satan himself)
- Adam rebelled and was disobedient (Genesis 3:8) and Jesus was submissive and obedient every step of the way (Philippians 2:8)
- They both experienced separation from God (Genesis 3:23) (Mark 15:34)
- The first Adam was naked and unashamed in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:25). The last Adam was naked on the cross and bore our shame (Hebrews 12:2)
- The first Adam turned from God in the garden of Eden, the second Adam turned to God in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39)
- As part of the curse of the first Adam’s sin, thorns were produced (Genesis 3:18). The second Adam wore a crown of thorns as He redeemed us from that curse (Matthew 27:29)
- The first Adam’s side was opened to bring forth his bride (Genesis 2:21) The second Adam’s side was pierced so that He could redeem His bride (John 19:34)
- The first Adam was the first husband, the second Adam will be the ultimate husband to His bride, the church.
These are the main ones I could think of, but there are many more (although some that people have suggested seem a bit forced).
Can you think of any more? If so why not share in the comments below.