” . . . the last Adam (became) a life-giving spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45).
Kris . . . as in Kringle. Nick . . . as in Saint. Santa . . . as in Claus. Scrooge . . . as in Ebenezer. Grinch . . . as in Mt. Krumpet. Those are names often associated with Christmas. But Adam . . . as in Last? Did we miss a legend somewhere?
Though perhaps unfamiliar, “Last Adam” is one of the titles assigned to the Christ of Christmas. Of course, the very name invites a comparison / contrast with the “first Adam” whose life is headlined in Genesis 2.
- Origin. The first Adam was natural, from the dust of the earth. The Last Adam, however, is spiritual, from heaven.
- Essence. Adam became a living being as God breathed life into him. Jesus, on the other hand, is a life-giving spirit as a result of His victory over death.
- Morality. The first Adam was a sinner, while the Last Adam was sinless and righteous.
- Ramifications. As a result of the first Adam’s sin, all of mankind is sinful and deserves condemning judgement. Christ, meanwhile, offers justification to all as a result of His supreme act of righteousness on the cross.
Although secular anthropologists wouldn’t describe it this way, from God’s perspective, it’s as if there are ultimately only two different “races” in this world. There are those who, as natural humans, have only been born as descendants of the first Adam. They have inherited the qualities of their father. Although physically alive, they are spiritually dead, characterized by sin, and headed down a path leading to eternal punishment. That’s not a “race” in which to claim proud membership!
Meanwhile, there is the “race” comprised of those who have been born again. By placing repentant faith in the Last Adam, Jesus, they have come alive spiritually. The eternal consequences of their sin have been dealt with at the cross. God gladly calls such people His children and allows them to call Him “Abba Father.” That is a “race” of people made possible by the Last Adam, the Christ of Christmas.
To which Adam do you trace your roots this Christmas season? What about your friends? Your relatives? It is not complicated. Faith in the Last Adam is all He asks.