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Who Do You Say I Am?

Reflections on Jesus' titles throughout the Scriptures

Last Adam

by Emmalie Ellis, DBU Student

Today's Reading

1 Corinthians 15:45-49 (ESV)

“Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 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. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 (ESV)

Christmas Eve: perhaps you’re frantically packing bags to travel, maybe you're scrambling to wrap last-minute gifts, or you might be trying to make the perfect cookies to set out for Ol’ Saint Nick. You’re calling family members to confirm plans, anxiously fearing what Christmas Day will look like without a family member that has recently passed, stressing about giving the perfect present, and quite quickly, you catch yourself falling into the hustle and bustle that never should have surrounded the Christmas season in the first place. 

Take a moment. Read the verses above once more. Imagine what it was like on that night in Bethlehem as the whole world waited in hushed anticipation for this man of heaven to finally set into motion what had been foretold for generations and generations past. God’s people had been taught about the fall of man all their lives and knew the story of Adam and Eve like the back of their hand. But this promised Savior, Messiah, Prince of Peace, this Last Adam was going to change everything. 

From dust, you and I were created (see Genesis 2:7). It all began with a man named Adam, formed in the image of a Holy God. Doubting the character of their Creator and being enticed by the serpent, Adam and his wife Eve ate the forbidden fruit. This first man, Adam, whom God himself breathed life into, failed to live up to the image he bore. The chasm between man and God grew far too wide. Now, from dust, we were created and to dust we would return, separated from God for eternity. 

Though it could have been, this isn’t where the story ends. Enter Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, born ‘neath Bethlehem’s star, not of dust, but from Heaven. Though he bore the physical appearance of Adam, this man did what Adam and his ancestors were never able to do. Throughout his entire life on earth, Jesus Christ represented the attributes, characteristics, and image of God perfectly- not just well, not just better than Adam, no, Jesus was perfect

Jesus is called the “Last Adam” because after he lived his perfect life, died a brutal death upon the cross, and rose three days later, thus defeating hell and the grave itself, there was no need for anything more. Jesus Christ is the end-all-be-all. He came to earth and lived and died as he did to save you and me, to mend the broken relationship between us and the Father, to stand in the gap of the chasm we made. As it says in 1 Corinthians, Jesus is the “life-giving spirit” our souls long for. 

This physical body each of us is given is only suitable for life here on earth, and even it will one day pass away. We see it in the way our bodies deteriorate, in the way we get sick, in the way our bodies are ravaged by chronic illness and disease- as a product of sin, we watch as our earthly bodies slowly turn back into the dust from which we came. 

One day, though, those who place their faith in Jesus will be made to look like our Savior (see Philippians 3:21). Just because we are born in a fading body like Adam doesn’t mean we have to stay this way! “For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Praise the Lord! By accepting the gift offered by Jesus to us, we receive our spiritual body, a body that will not fade, will not crumble into dust, a life not characterized by brokenness, heartache, pain, suffering… no! The life made possible by the Last Adam is one of great joy, restoration, and unity with the Creator, just as life was intended to be. 

Don’t allow the craziness of the holiday season to distract your heart from the true power of Christmas. Don’t let the enemy rob you of this time of great celebration. If you wake up tomorrow morning and see that all you had under the tree this year was the gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ, know that you have received the best present ever known. Readjust your focus to realize this truth. Rest in knowing our Savior is greater than fickle man. Rejoice in knowing his saving power is made accessible to all. This is why we celebrate. This is our hope. This is our salvation: His name is Jesus, and He is Christ the Lord.

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