1 Corinthians 15:45–49 (ESV) — 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Romans 5:14 tells us that Adam, Eden’s Adam was a type, a foreshadowing of “the one who was to come.” Jesus was always the plan. And so it is there are a number of passages like the one above in 1 Cor. 15 where Jesus and Adam are contrasted and/or compared. Adam became a living being, but Jesus? He Himself was a life-giving spirit. Adam had life, Jesus gave it. Adam was formed and came out of the earth – but Jesus, He came down from Heaven. Adam was made out of the dust of the earth and so all of we humans share that same nature. But Jesus, having come down out of Heaven, brings those who believe to share in His heavenly nature. And so as we all have borne the image of the first Adam, all those in Christ will bear His image in time.
But there is another set of contrasts that are not as explicit, and yet carry an exceeding weight of glory all their own. They emerge when we contemplate this scene at Jesus’ crucifixion: Luke 23:46 (ESV) — 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.
Note first that when Adam had sinned, he hid himself FROM God, red with his own guilt. Whereas Jesus when dying for our sin, went TO God, blood-red with our guilt. “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Note second how Adam tried to cover himself so as not to be exposed. While Jesus was stripped naked and exposed to the world.
And lastly, how Adam pointed the finger at his wife as the reason for his fall. But Jesus took the whole of our guilt upon Himself, that His Bride might be covered.
Oh what a wondrous Savior this last Adam is.