It’s easy to forget that the Bible is a great work of literature. We overlook the fact that its author is the inventor of all language and all story. It is so massive that we focus on small parts. We skip the complicated parts so we can get to the end and find the great victorious conclusion. But when we do this, we miss the beautiful complexity of this great book. We miss the typology and foreshadowing and parallelism in the grand story of God.
In Genesis, Adam, the image bearer of God, was placed in paradise and given freedom and purpose and personal access to God. He was only commanded to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation by the serpent as he twisted God’s words: “Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1). They chose to seek their own glory instead of God’s, and they disobeyed him. As a result they—and all of creation—were cursed, and Adam and Eve were driven from Eden. Within a couple chapters, the story of Adam and Eve ended, and the book moves on.
Except their story didn’t end there. For “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12). So every page of the Old Testament is, in a sense, about Adam. All the rises and falls, all the passing generations of people, all the tragedies and laments, are all because of that first sin. And all of this sin and death builds the tension and anticipation for something more, as Adam “is a type of the Coming One” (v.14)—a lesser version of the perfect version to come.
God, in His goodness, leaves no part of the story unfinished. Adam sinned, and all his offspring—that is all of us—have followed in his footsteps, so we too are under the curse of death and judgment. “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1Corinthians 15:21–22). God sent Jesus, the true Adam, to redeem what was lost and to set right what went wrong. God writes a better ending for our story: “For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).
The coming of Christ is the hope of the world to undo the curse of Adam. But sin was not merely erased or forgotten. Christ undid what Adam began by doing what Adam could not: obeying perfectly, resisting temptation, glorifying God, and restoring relationship with the Father for all who believe. It was through Christ’s righteousness—His sinless life and perfect sacrifice—that we are made righteous.