BY RON SCHOOLCRAFT
He wasn’t sure exactly how or when it happened, but slowly the realization dawned – he was definitely different from all the beautiful creatures that were slowly parading before him. As Adam continued
naming them, one glaring difference stood out – they all had companions! He had none… He watched as they playfully nuzzled each other, snuggling and cuddling, and the awareness grew into an _ aching
in his bosom. Lifting his head, Adam gazed expectantly down the long line. “Maybe my companion is in this line – perhaps this is the Lord God’s unique way of introducing us,” he thought hopefully. As the line
dwindled, his diligent watch turned to a fervent search; but at last, after naming the final the conclusion was painfully obvious: he was alone – completely and miserably alone!
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone. ” (Genesis 2:18, emphasis added).
The preceding narrative contains a mystery: since God knew that Adam would need a wife in order to “Be fruitful, and multiply. ” (Genesis 1:28), why then, did He create him alone? Why did He subject this “son of God” (Luke 3:38) to a painful scenario of loneliness, fruitless searching and the “rib surgery” which followed? An even larger question looms: why would God create a condition that, in His own Words, “is not good. ” (Genesis 2:18)? We know God doesn’t make mistakes. Then, could He possibly be trying to tell us something?
Hopefully, this brief study of the striking parallels in the lives of Adam and Jesus Christ may suggest an answer to the dilemma; or at least offer some compelling evidence for a likely explanation of the mystery. May it result in a renewed appreciation for the exceedingly great love of God.
A Tale of Two Adams
Please consider: could it be feasible that God scripted the story line in Genesis to portray and thus reveal His own feeling of loneliness and His own desire for a suitable companionship?! Let us not forget that God was also Himself an Adam “the Second Adam”! (I Corinthians 15:45-47). Moreover, the apostle Paul identified Adam as “the figure [type] of him that was to come. ” (Romans 5:14). Should we then think it strange that He would use the first Adam to play a role depicting the innermost desire of the Second Adam, “the Lord from heaven,” (I Corinthians 15:47) for a bride to dispel His loneliness? Could the story of the first Adam be the divine prototype, the first and greatest of all the Bible “types,” foreshadowing the Second Adam’s ultimate creation of, and love for, His own bride – the church? As the saga unfolds, let us explore the possibility.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib… made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
” (Genesis 2:21-22). Here, the first Adam’s “deep sleep” was a perfect type and “shadow” of the deep sleep of death that Christ, the Second Adam, suffered at Calvary. The Hebrew word for “rib” is
Interpreted side elsewhere in Old Testament. When Jesus’ “side” was pierced a crimson stream of blood and water flowed out, thereby completing the redeeming of His bride – the church! Truly, the bride of
Christ was made from His side also.
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. ” (Genesis 2:23). This unique phraseology is similar to that used by Paul when speaking about the church and Christ, “For we are
members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. ” (Ephesians 5:30). When Adam said, “This is now…,” Hebrew language experts say he was expressing tremendous excitement, joy, astonishment! Adam’s delight
when he first met Eve, gives us an insight into why Jesus was willing to suffer and give Himself for His bride: “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:2).
Leave and Cleave
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. ” (Genesis 2:24). This verse is the divine model for the institution of marriage and family. It contains two important keys:
1. Severance – “leave”: though we are still commanded to honor our parents we must leave them and, in essence, cut the cord. The Second Adam, “the Lord from heaven, ” left the throne of glory, severing Himself from all of heaven’s blessings and the adoration of angels. He condescended to walk in the world He had made! (See John 1:1,10,14).
2. Permanence – “cleave”: we must cling to, hold fast to, adhere to, stick like glue. The espoused bride of Christ knows the permanence of “Lo, I am with you alway.” (Matthew 28:20), “I will never leave thee
nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5), and the cleaving principle of “neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28), and nothing “…shall be able to separate us. ” (Romans 8:39).
The Sin of Adam
Dare we extend the parallels into Genesis 3 for the fall of Adam? An important clue to understanding the first Adam is found in I Timothy 2:14: “And m was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the
transgression. Was Paul minimizing Adam’s role in the fall? No, but since Adam was not deceived, he didn’t eat the forbidden fruit nonchalantly. He knowingly chose to share the death penalty with his bride.
But why? What motivated him? Was it rebellion, or could he have been driven by his undying love for Eve? He must have greatly agonized in that garden because disobedience, sin and death were foreign and
repulsive to him. We know the Second Adam also agonized in a garden – Gethsemane: “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood. ” (Luke 22:44).
Presumably, the first Adam’s prayer could have been: “Dear Lord, You gave Eve to me to heal my loneliness. She is now part of me – bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Lord, You joined us together and now we are no longer two, but one. How, then, can I live separately from her? I have never disobeyed You; I know no sin, and I don’t want to disobey You now. Oh Lord, I love You, I do love You! You surely see my
agony. Please understand me – I am not acting out of disobedience; but my love for Eve consumes me. I am willing to become sinful – made to be sin – for her sake. If she can’t stay with me, Lord, I am willing to
suffer the penalty to accompany her.
It is written of the Second Adam, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.” (11 Corinthians 5:21). Isaiah prophesied of Him, “and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6). It is not completely beyond the realm of possibility that, as “crunch” time arrived, Adam may have prayed this prayer, “Lord, if possible, let this cup pass from me; if not, would You please let me die in her place! Please let her live! Let me lay down my life as a ransom for my bride.”
Could that be a trace of a smile flickering across the face of God? “Oh, first Adam, you have displayed a sacrificial love worthy of our shared name. Now I, the Second Adam, the Lord of glory, must someday make the same agonizing choice for my bride that I love – the church!” And He did!
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it… That he might present it to himself a glorious church.” (Ephesians 5:25-27). “Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God ” (Ephesians 5:2).
Oh Love of God – How Rich and Pure!
Praise God forever, ‘for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:4-5, emphasis added). We are saved by the sacrificial death and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, who “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. ” (Revelation 1:5). Such knowledge should drive us to complete prostration in awe, amazement and appreciation.
Thank God for the love of Adam: of the first Adam, presumably, but of the Second Adam, precisely, for: “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans
5:8). “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4:10)
Editor’s Note: Ron Schoolcraft is from Columbus, IN.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE APOSTOLIC WRITERS’ DIGEST PAGES 7, 8, MARCH 2001. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.