There is plenty of literature (entire books on the subject, if I’m not wrong) doing much more sophisticated compare-and-contrasts of Adam and Christ, but these two are my personal favourites –
1. Tim Keller, ‘Encounters with Jesus’
At the beginning of history there was also a garden and a command. God put Adam and Eve in that garden, and they were told not to eat of the Tree. The direction was: ‘Obey me about the Tree, and you will live’ – obey me and I’ll bless you. But they disobeyed. Now there is another garden, and a Second Adam, and another command. Jesus Christ has been sent by the Father to go to the cross, which is also a tree. …
To the first Adam he said, ‘Obey me about the Tree and I will bless you’ – and Adam didn’t do it. But to the second Adam He says, ‘Obey me about the Tree and I will crush you’ – and Jesus does. Jesus is the first and last person in history to be told that obedience would bring a curse. The Father is saying, essentially, ‘If you obey me, if you are faithful to me, I will forsake you, cast you off and send your soul into hell.’ And yet Jesus obeyed. Even as He was dying, abandoned by His Father, He called Him ‘My God’ – words that in the Bible were covenant language, conveying intimacy. Even though He was being forsaken, Jesus was still obeying.
2. N. D. Wilson, ‘Death by Living’
Adam, establishing the grand tradition of men everywhere, pooched it badly. But what should he have done? Step into the scene…
‘Well,’ Adam says. ‘See ya, babe. I guess this is good-bye. I hope God makes me another one.’
Or maybe he should get a wee bit self-righteous. We could pull that off.
‘Eve! I can’t believe that you could be so thoughtless. Don’t you understand what kind of position this puts me in? Of course not. You were just thinking of yourself.’
Or how about the vicarious villain?
‘Seriously? You ate it?’ Glances furtively at the spirit world, and then back again. Whispers: ‘What’s it like?’
We, the strange human creatures raised on Bible stories, have frequently heard this story used as the classic model for abstention. Adam should have acted like a fourteen-year-old being offered pot for the first time. Right? Or maybe he should have abstained while also attempting to convince Eve of the error of her ways. He should have recommended that she apologise.
Adam II did it right. Our Elder Brother, covenant head of a hijacked human race.
He was Adam done right.
Loosen your jaw and begin chewing, this gristle is tough. Adam, living in his story rightly, would have done the same. Adam would not have been the well-behaved Mormon teenager, abstaining from the fruit. He would have looked at Eve, seen her curse, seen her enemy, and gone after that serpent with pure and righteous wrath. He would have then turned to face the pure and righteous wrath of God Himself (that Adam has just imaged) and he would have said something quite simple, something that would be said by another, thousands of years later.
‘Take me instead.’