Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jesus is a Better Adam: How Gethsamane Corresponds to Eden - Part 2

Jesus is a Better Adam: How Gethsamane Corresponds to Eden - Part 1
Jesus is a Better Adam: How Gethsamane Corresponds to Eden - Part 2


In part one, I introduced the basic exegetical concept that Jesus fulfills all that the Old Testament anticipates. In that post I provided Isaac and Israel as examples. The parallels force us to see their connections with Jesus. We must conclude, then, that Jesus is a true and better Isaac and Israel.

With all of that as background, let us turn our attention to Jesus' Gethsemane experience and how it relates to Adam and Eden. One way to see Gethsemane as the fulfillment of Eden is to note the numerous contrasts.
  • Eden is a beautiful garden full of life. Gethsemane is marked by tragedy, betrayal, and death. 
  • Adam failed. Jesus persevered.
  • Adam's temptation took place in the daytime. Jesus' took place at night.
  • Adam ate the forbidden fruit. Jesus drank the cup of wrath.
  • Jesus says, "not my will but yours." Adam says, "not your will but mine."
  • Paul describes Jesus as the second Adam (Romans 5)
We should note other connections. First, there is an emphasis on "sorrow." In handling out his curses, God repeatedly says there will be sorrow. Eve, for example, is told that God will "increase her sorrow" in childbirth. In Gethsemane, we clearly see a sorrowful Savior. Regarding this point, author Patrick Henry Rearden elaborates:
The context of this assertion indicates that Jesus assumed the primeval curse of man’s sorrow unto death, in order to reverse Adam’s disobedience. In the garden he bore our sadness unto death, becoming the “Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). . . . In the garden Jesus returns to the very place of Adam’s fall, taking upon himself Adam’s sorrow unto death. (The Jesus We Missed, 160, 161)
Ultimately, what we need to see at Gethsemane in narrative is what Paul described in his epistles. Jesus, as the second Adam, succeeds where our first father failed. Jesus, then, is a true and better Adam. Another important theological point needs to be made clear here. Yes Jesus is Israel's messiah yet he is not only Israel's messiah. By taking upon himself the story of Adam, the Evangelists make the central point that Jesus is man's messiah. He is the Savior of both Jew and Gentile, Israel and the rest of the nation.
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