The Two Adams

In his commentary on Ecclesiastes (3:1,3: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: . . . a time to kill and a time to heal”), Dionysius of Alexandria (A.D. 190/200-265) ~ a pupil of the famous theologian Origen ~ writes:

“When one thinks of the death which the transgression of Adam brought on us, it is a time to mourn; but it is a time to hold festal gatherings when we call to mind the resurrection from the dead which we expect through the new Adam.” (Ante-Nicene Fathers 6:114)

It’s with this dual perspective that Christians review the news each day.

How must a holy and all-knowing God, we ponder, view the carnage and atrocities of life on earth? We trot off the lips that an estimated ninety thousand have died in Syria, and pause to contemplate what that means to God and to those who’ve become anonymous statistics. And that’s just one incident, majoring on one sin, in one locale, at one point in history! Think of the multiple layers of sin which produces such chaos. Sure, we lament!

We would also despair in such a culture of sin and death were our hopes not set on another day: the return of the second or last Adam. Jesus Christ is returning to earth to gather those who’ve taken shelter in him. By the blood shed on the cross of Calvary he covered their sins, and by his death he paid for them. In his resurrection from death we are assured his sacrifice for sin is accepted in heaven, and know that our resurrection from death on the day of his return is guaranteed. That will be some day! The inauguration of a new world order on a new earth incapable of returning to the chaos of this one!

Know this: Christ is dead for you! He is raised to life for you, too. Why try lesser claims of hope when this unsurpassed and undefeated one has been before you all your life? This second Adam is also the last Adam. There’s not another world Savior to come, and you’ve no need of another. The man Christ Jesus is the one mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5). Do commit your life to him.

We who have done so in faith and repentance know that the “festal gatherings” have already begun. Our worship and service to God foreshadow the day when there’ll be nothing but festal gatherings. On the new earth, Christ, the second and last Adam, and redeemer of the destruction of the first Adam, will be front and center. We want to meet him in person. If you do too, then forsake the first Adam to cling to the last one. He is able and willing to deliver all those who do.

 

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