Day 3

O Come, Second Adam

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-8, Matthew 26:36-46, Romans 5:12-21

One of the easiest things to overlook in the Bible is how individual characters are types of Christ. Reading stories, especially in the Old Testament, as moral lessons or as plot devices to get us to Jesus may sometimes seem the easiest way to navigate them, but those approaches miss so much.

When God created Adam, He gave him a perfect home, a purpose, and freedom. He also gave him one limiting command: Do not eat from one tree, lest you die; everything else is yours (Genesis 2:17). Adam and Eve thrived in the garden. They fulfilled their purpose by cultivating and caring for creation. They enjoyed a beautiful relationship with God. Everything was right, until it wasn’t.

In Genesis 3, it all fell apart. And by “all” I mean all—literally every single created thing broke. Satan, in serpent form, tempted Eve, while Adam complicity and idly stood by. Then he actively participated in the rebellion against God, and death entered the world. For the first time, God’s image-bearers sinned, wanting to be gods themselves rather than people who trust in God. And every person since has followed suit.

At first, it may not be clear how Adam, the primal sinner, is a type of Christ. But let’s roll the story forward to a different garden. There we find Jesus, the first sinless man since Adam before the fall in the garden of Gethsemane, on His knees crying out to God (Matthew 26:36–46). He is sorely tried, facing the most difficult and heinous of tasks—to bear the weight of God’s wrath and save the world. He is sinless. Life and death for all humanity rest upon Him. And though He is the Son of God, He does “not consider equality with God as something to be exploited” (Philippians 2:6). But He does what Adam did not: He submits to God’s will, and by obeying, He brings life where death once ruled.

In one garden, the first Adam sinned, and through him death entered the world. In another garden, the second Adam, the one perfect man, refused to sin, obediently following the will of the Father to bear the sins of the world. Romans 5 explains it plainly: “For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous… just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (vv.19,21).

The Old Testament contains many of these “types” of Christ—people who failed to obey, to redeem, to save, and ultimately to live. But Christ is the perfect fulfillment of all they represent, of all the dashed hopes placed on them, of all they strived for but couldn’t reach. Jesus is the perfect Adam, the abolisher of death and bringer of eternal life.

Written by Barnabas Piper

Post Comments (10)

10 thoughts on "O Come, Second Adam"

  1. Todd Gross says:

    I’ve sinned. Still do. Less though. I’m so thankful to Christ that He and I are right. I pray that all my relationships are reconciled as He and mine has been. That this amazing grace extends beyond just He and I. To my wife. Kids. Friends. Business associates. Dad. Sister. I will wait on Him to do just that.

    Amen. So be it.

  2. Chris Braca says:

    The Christophany of Adam and the parallels of the gardens reaffirms how cool our Bible is. Not only did Jesus fulfill what Adam couldn’t do in the garden, but I’m reminded that after His second coming, all of creation will be restored. The effects of sin will no longer have any physical manifestation for He will make all things new.

  3. Justin Harger says:

    “You shall surely die” – God’s warning to Adam. But he did eat the fruit, and Adam didn’t die. So God was clearly referring to a spiritual death. A separation from Him that can only be described as death. Flashing forward, we see the second Adam comes and reverses the death with the way the truth and the life. Yet, here we are, waiting for Christ’s return again. Dealing with the wages of sin from our own and other people’s lives. I think that’s why the garden exchange with Peter, James, and John is so important. Jesus was in the world dealing with sin but not sinning Himself. In the garden He asks His friends for community – to stay with Him when He needs them the most. Even Christ craved community with others, because we were created for it. Created for a oneness with God and likewise his images. Community is good and every good and perfect gift comes from God. This is such an encouragement to seek others for support as we walk through this fallen world together.

  4. Kevin says:

    Day 3: I really like the verses there in Romans about the equal weight that Adam and Jesus share. Adam bringing death and a need for perfection into the world for everyone, and Jesus bringing life and repentance to everyone. What a tough guy to be! Can you imagine the shame Adam felt? He certainly didn’t know the future, but that’s a lot of pressure on a dude. And we don’t always do so good under pressure. Some cool learning today. ⚒

  5. Jace Martinez says:

    During Advent, a painting of Eve and Mary floats around the internet. It’s a great painting but I don’t see many people acknowledge the connection between Adam and Jesus. Which is funny, because these two are the link between two of the most pivotal moments of human history: the fall of man and Christ’s salvation.

  6. Rene G. says:

    The connection between Adam and Jesus amazes me so much. It is just an example of how perfect and detailed God’s plans are for us.

  7. Andrew Rigney says:

    Adam was in the Garden, but I would be no different. Regularly, I find myself astounded by the sin that resides within me. On good days, when I’m close to the LORD, I feel it there with me – within me. Oh, who can rescue me from this body of death? Regularly, I’m reminded that I need Jesus. I need him who through death brought life. How could it be that he gave up his position for me? He considered equality with God not worth holding onto. That’s a love I desperately want and need, but will never be able to understand. Thanks be to God through Jesus Chris our LORD.

  8. Garrett says:

    Jesus chose death by not giving into sin and temptation. Adam gave into sin and brought death into humanity. Jesus’ sacrifice allowed man to regain righteousness with God.

  9. Joshua H. says:

    The failure of one Adam brought one who was victorious over death.

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