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Why Was Jesus Called the Last Adam?

We are continuing our meditation on what it will be like to have a resurrection body at the return of Christ. Paul the apostle wrote about the resurrection body using the analogy of a seed and a plant in his first Corinthian letter (1 Corinthians 15:35-57). He noted that Adam, the first man, was a living seed to bear all of us in his image. Paul then went on to say that the Last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit (v. 45). Earlier in his text, he said that what happened to Adam happened to us all, for He was the representative, the federal head, of the human race. It may not seem fair for all of his progeny to inherit his sinful nature because the life of that seed, Adam's sinful nature, was passed to all of us. But Christ has come Himself to be the federal head for all who receive His full pardon. In this way, God brings new life through another seed, One that is perfect and free from sin. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Just as Adam gave us our physical body and, with it, our sinful nature, Christ also provides us with this seed of new life planted in our hearts. He came to give us life! Jesus Himself gave us the reason for His first coming, saying, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The apostle Paul wrote:

The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven (1 Corinthians 15:42-49).

Paul views our fleshly bodies as seeds sown in the ground, and the resurrection body that comes from the seed is entirely different from the one planted. On that great Day, God will raise our new body imperishable, which means it is immortal, ageless, and indestructible. It will not wear out, grow old or ever get sick or diseased, for just as we received life in the physical realm from Adam, our forefather, so believers in Christ receive spiritual life from the last Adam, Jesus. Christ is called the Last Adam, so we should not expect another. As we have put on Adam's likeness, thanks be to God, we will also put on the image of the glory of Christ. Paul writes:

50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." 55"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:50-57).

Oh, how I long for that Day to arrive. Our Lord Jesus Christ has conquered death. Praise be to His glorious name! Keith Thomas

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Taken from the series Insights into Eternity. Click on study 3 or the link: The Resurrection Body.


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