Advent Reading 1 Week 2: December 5 - 11
We have many different ways to separate people into categories. Some are male; some are female. Some are old; some are young. People have different skin colors and come from different countries. How can you divide your family into different categories? Do some have freckles and others do not? Does everyone have the same hair color? Are there singers and non-singers? Different eye colors? Right-handed or left-handed? Clean or messy? For fun, go to this website to see how many different ways there are “2 Kinds of People”: https://2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com/
This is how we see people. God only sees two kinds of people – those who are in Adam and those who in Christ. We see this in one of Paul’s letters: “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:21-22). Later in that same chapter, Paul wrote, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (verse 45). Two verses later, he wrote, “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven” (verse 47). This may be confusing. What is Paul trying to teach us?
Adam, the first human created by God, was placed in the Garden of Eden to serve as our representative. He would live forever if he could live without sinning. Of course, he failed to represent us well. He sinned when he disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the tree. This means all who come after him have been born with a sin nature like his and commit sins themselves. God sees these people the way he sees Adam in the Garden – sinful and disobedient. However, when Jesus was born, he came as a “another Adam” or the “last Adam.” He was also tested in the wilderness but he passed the test. He obeyed God and did not sin. Later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was tempted again and he passed the test by obeying the Father’s will. In fact, he never sinned his entire life.
These two “Adams” are important. Both were tested around a specific tree: a forbidden tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden and the forsaken tree on the hill of Golgotha. If Adam obeyed God about his tree, he would live. If Jesus obeyed God about his tree, he would die. Adam failed his test and something horrible happened. Jesus passed his test and something amazing happened. The first Adam disobeyed God and brought death into the world. The last Adam obeyed God and brought life into the world. The first Adam failed in paradise and was cast into the wilderness. The last Adam succeeded in the wilderness and opened the way to paradise. You can choose to get out of Adam’s line and into Jesus’ line. All who do are no longer represented by Adam but by Jesus, the last Adam. Now, if you are a Christian, God sees you the way he sees Jesus! What a difference the Last Adam makes!
All kinds of people represent you. Maybe you have a class president? Maybe you have a captain who picks the kickball teams? Miss North Carolina represents all of us in the beauty pageant. We have representatives in our state congress and the U.S. Congress. Who will represent you when you stand before God – Adam or Jesus? The Bible says, “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom 10:13). Call on Jesus, the Last Adam, to save you and represent you today!
Thank you Jesus for your perfect obedience throughout your entire life. It is so difficult for me to be obedient even when I want to. I still sin every single day. I know I need you to stand in my place before God. Thank you for your willingness to accept me and be my savior.