Monday, January 5, 2009

Adam, Israel, Jesus and Humanity

Here's something I just threw together. What do you think?

Adam → Israel

Adam was God’s creation whom he made to live in fellowship with him and rule over his creation. He was to bear the image of God and glorify God in all that he did. When Adam failed God made Israel to be his ‘renewed’ humanity. They would be a light in a dark world through their obedience to the law. They were God’s special people. But, like Adam, Israel failed and became part of the problem. They fell into the sin of idolatry and were judged by God.

Israel → Jesus

When God acted to redeem humanity he called a people to himself. They were to be the bearers of the solution but they were sinful and were themselves in need of redemption. They were to be sons of God but gave into evil. Jesus was declared by God the Father to be his true son. Jesus would do what Israel could not do. He would remain faithful to God. Where Israel failed Jesus was victorious. He did not succumb to temptation and fall into sin but remained faithful to the will of the father. He bore the judgment for sinful Israel.

Adam → Israel → Humanity

Israel went into exile for their great sin against God (i.e. just like Adam). God promised that he would redeem them through the promised messiah. When Jesus came on the scene he was welcoming tax collectors and sinners. In response to the grumbling of the Pharisees he told the parable of the prodigal son. The story was one of exile and return but instead of Israel being the lost and returning is was those who were following Jesus. Thus, the story of Israel stands parallel to the story of every person. Humanity is in exile and through Jesus they can come home to God.

Jesus → Humanity

As Israel is sinful and in need of redemption so is all of humanity. Jesus is the true Israelite who remained faithful to God. He died on behalf of his sinful people bearing the wrath that they deserved. But what God did for Israel he did for all humanity. All those who will return from exile Jesus will welcome. All people, Jew or Gentile, can be in Christ so that what is true of him is true of them. He is their representative. Jesus has been declared righteous so that all those in him can be declared righteous. Jesus is the true son of God and all those in him are sons of God by virtue of their union with him.


I forgot to add the parallel between Adam and Jesus.

In the letters of paul we frequently find that there are two representatives for humans. 1) Adam - the old man and 2) Jesus - the new man. Adam was the representative head for the entire human race and , thus, all humans are under sin and it's condemnation. But for those in Christ they are the 'new humanity' being remade in God's image.

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