Adam and Jesus in Romans

In the New Testament, there are some major theological word plays and comparisons between the new community in Christ and the narrative of the old testament community.

One of the biggest and most recognizable comparisons is in Romans 5-6. This section compares Christ to Adam. At the surface we can point out certain points: man in Adam is sinful, man in Christ has eternal life. At first it is easy to just put down the book and say it is a message of personal salvation. Case closed; let’s move on. But there is more to this story.

In the first account of Genesis, the entire setup is based on being a Temple. Everything is as it should be. So when God places Adam over creation to care for it and cultivate it, This makes humans the priests. Now obviously, man sins and God exiles them, but He does not take away the command to be Priests. This is the story that repeats itself all throughout history, God has called us to be priests, but we are continually finding ways to fail that calling.

Jesus is the opposite of that. Instead of failing, he fulfilled what we were supposed to be since the beginning. And as we know from Hebrews, he is the great High Priest at God’s right hand. But when we look in Romans and in all of the Bible, those who find themselves uniting with the Word of God find themselves strangely connected to his fate also.

Throughout the history of God following, we have been searching for one to be an image of Adam that would be the Image of God that He was supposed to be. Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc. But all of them could not fulfill that role. Christ did. He was the chosen, the head, deliverer, prophet, and King who gave us someone to look to. Someone to imitate as our brave and fearless leader.

We all work in our lives according to a rule,and that is that you serve someone, whether evil or good. The only difference is that serving the old Adam is based on fear, greed, and self-glorification, while serving Jesus is about a submission based on loving others and God. That is called being a priest in the line of Christ’s priesthood and fulfilling what we were meant to be.

What do you see as your purpose? Do you find yourself following the ways of Adam or Christ? Are you willing to follow a call that is about more than your self?


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