Friday Morning Manna
August 2, 2019
The Second Adam: The World’s Sin and Guilt Bearer
Jesus Christ, the “second” or “last Adam” (1 Cor. 15: 45-47) was subject to the first death of all mortals because He had to die, not merely “walk in the valley of the shadow of death,” which He also did, but temporarily came under it as the one-and-only, once-and-for-all atoning sacrifice (Heb. 9: 25-28; 10: 10, 12, 14) that the Father made of His only-begotten Son at the antitypical altar of sacrifice of Calvary.
The “wages of sin is death.” Rom. 6: 23. In His death the second Adam, in His human nature “made in the likeness of sinful flesh,” did not die because He fell under the power of “him who had the power of death,” that is the devil” (Heb. 2: 14), because of the following:
1. He never yielded to any of Satan’s temptations, and therefore never sinned. In the wilderness (Matt.4: 1-14), the most powerful, strongest, deceptive and alluring, as well as the more common temptations that “does so easily beset us”(Heb. 12: 1), were embodied in the three temptations that comprehended all others which Satan attacked Jesus with when He was at the most vulnerable point of His human nature, one that depended on literal food and water in order to live His human life. He had fasted for 6 weeks or 40 days; a day more and He would have starved to death. He never once yielded, thus never sinned though He could have as Satan confidently thought he could succeed again as he did with the first Adam in Eden. And so the second Adam, could honestly declare of Himself: “The prince (“ruler,” N.K.J.V.) of this world cometh and hath nothing in Me.” John 14: 30, KJV. Satan is the prince and ruler of this world. In contrast, Jesus declared: “My kingdom is not on this world.” John 18: 26.
2. Because He never sinned, His conscience remained pure and undefiled from the manger to the cross. He died the death of the “Holy One of Israel.”Conscience, in the untranslated Greek suneidesis, means “co-perception, i.e. moral consciousness.” E. G. White says, “Conscience is the voice of God heard amid the din of human passions.” The Word tells us to “strive to have a conscience void of offense towards God and man.”Acts 24: 16. Of the second Adam the Scriptures says, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2: 52. He repeatedly said of Himself: “I do nothing except the will of Him who sent Me.” Towards the end of His successful mission on earth, He, the True Vine, could say: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’ commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:10.
No sin, no guilt. The second Adam never felt the pangs of guilt that the first Adam felt immediately after he sinned in the Garden of Eden; and is true with all mankind, thereafter. “He who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us.”____. The second Adam, in His humanity “made in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8: 2), did not become a sinner by sinning nor had a knowledge of it by experience. Rather, He who could sin because His human nature and body were “prepared” and “made” by the Father to be subject to “all the temptations that man is tempted with,” never knew sin by conscious choice, relying totally on the grace of the Father imparted by the Holy Spirit. His anointing by the Holy Spirit immediately after He emerged from the baptism by water immersion in the hands of John the Baptist, “the forerunner of Christ,” at the Jordan, was not only to certify and publicly announce that He indeed was the promised Messiah, “the anointed One;” it was also to reveal, by demonstration, that fallen men, if they seek for it “with all their all their hearts, minds, soul, strength,” would receive the divine empowerment of grace, which is “the power of God to salvation”(Rom. 1: 5, 16).
Apostle Paul says of Him: “Though He was a Son yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the author of salvation to all them that obey Him.” Heb. 5: 8, 9. Through these suffering by which He learned obedience as the second Adam, He alone became the only Guiltless Man, whom John described as “that which from the beginning, which we have heard, have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.” 1 John 1: 1. The second Adam accomplished all these suffering in perfect accord with the plan of redemption that was “prepared before the foundation of the world” as determined by omniscience before the first Adam sinned. The Father “made Him,” His only-begotten Son, who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5: 21, N.K.J.V.
As the Creator incarnated into the second Adam, in order to be the first Adam’s and all fallen mankind’s Sin-bearer, all can and must cast all their sins and cares upon Him “who cares for you” (1 Pet. 4: 7), and who can bear the all. As the Creator incarnated to be mankind’sBurden-bearer, the burden of the guilt of the whole world was “rolled upon Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. “My little children these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if anyone sins, we have and Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. This is what the old song “He’s got the whole wide world in His hands” actually means.
3. The second and last Adam did not die for His sins, for He had none, but for our sins “that abound” (Rom. 5: 20),beginningwiththe first Adam’s first sin in Eden—of yielding to Eve’s urgings to partake of the forbidden fruit—and all the other more complex ones that both must have committed outside of Eden (Adam lived for 930 long years). It was Christ’s adopted humanity that never sinned, that died for our created humanity that fell into sin. He is fallen mankind’s one and only atoning sacrifice, the first and last substitute and surety who alone was acceptable to the Father, having fully satisfied the demands of His own eternal and immutable law—which is the transcript of the character of God.
3. Christ offered Himself as the Sacrifice—not Satan, neither the Jews nor the Romans—though they, particularly the religious leaders of the nation jubilantly yet foolishly and thought so! True divinity, being unconditionally immortal, never dies and therefore never needs a resurrection—in contrast to the gods deified and worshipped by pagan religions who are alleged to repeatedly “die and resurrect” annually. “It was Caiaphas who gave counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.” John 18: 14. They thought they had killed Him and silenced Him forever when He expired at the cross at 3 PM of Friday afternoon, 31 A.D. Even in His death, He, the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matt. 12: 8; Mark 2: 27, 28; Luke 6: 5, 6), rested in His grave on the seventh day “according to the commandment.” Luke 23: 55, 56. The second Adam rested from His finished work on earth as the Messiah, the Lamb of God, the Father’s atoning Sacrifice.
He then He resurrected before sunrise of the first day of the week, immediately fulfilling what He said to His disciples before His crucifixion: “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down for Myself. I have the power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10: 17, 18. At that point, the second Adam’s quiescent divinity—He never ceased to be God when He became man—working through the Holy Spirit, raised His dead humanity back to life, i.e., the very same life He had with the Father which was “original, unborrowed and underived.”
His human “body that was made for Him”— which He had not yet “tabernacled in” when He appeared as Jehovah Creator to the Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, etc.— and that “was bruised for our iniquities” starting when it was cruelly scourged while being mocked by the Jewish religious leaders, then nailed to the cross—was “glorified” at His resurrection with luminous glory so bright, causing the Roman soldiers standing guard to fall down as dead men.
Q. What does a glorified, spiritual yet literal and physical human body look like, and of what material is it made up of? We won’t know until the very moment “the change” of the body– no longer the moral character which was fixed beyond all change before death—takes place in the resurrection morning when the sleeping saints’ bodies are brought forth from their dusty beds and changed into a glorified “spiritual bodies” “in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet.” Only then will human corruptible flesh that returned to the dust after death and decay will be instantly and permanently changed into “incorruptible” flesh and blood, and man’s natural mortality be instantly and permanently changed to immortality.” 1 Cor. 15: 25-58. And yet the promise given to Paul and to all is: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am also known.” 1 Cor. 13:12, N.K.J.V.
The first Adam died at the age of 930 years (Gen. 5: 5) and his mortal body turned to corruption after death. Therefore, his corrupted body of his mortally corruptible quality and nature that returned to the dust of the ground will have to be changed into an incorruptible, spiritual, glorious body in the resurrection morning when the second and last Adam returns with all His glory, before he can enter the pearly gates of heaven. But not so with the second and last Adam. He died at the age of 33 and ½ years old but His body never turned into corruption after His death. Therefore, His uncorrupted-by-sin, dead human body never returned to the dust of the ground, though He was buried in the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. NOTE: “Glory” also describes moral character perfection, not merely luminous appearance to the eye.
Unlike all human beings, including Enoch and Elijah who were translated to heaven without tasting death as well as the 144,000 of the last days, whose natural, corruptible properties of their fallen human nature, even before death, needed to be changed into incorruptible, the second Adam’s sinless life and therefore uncorrupted human nature that was “made in the likeness of sinful flesh,” needed not to be changed into incorruptible but instead was glorified before He ascended to heaven and entered the holy places of the heavenly sanctuary to the Ancient of days, the Father.
Consequence of Guilt and the Wages of Death: Gethsemane and Calvary
There is only one Life giver and Lawgiver. James 4: 12. His law—the transcript of His unchanging character of love and truth, mercy and justice and the foundation of His everlasting kingdom, authority, and power in heaven, earth and throughout His boundless universe—the law of righteousness, demands the life of its transgressor. But even if the first of human transgressors, the first Adam himself, died as a consequence and the “wages of sin,” the perfectly righteous law of God would still be unsatisfied because the divine law demands a guiltless life, thus a guilt-free, spotless and blameless sacrifice. And all man, beginning with the first Adam, “have fallen and come short of the glory of God,” i.e., , except the Son of man, the second Adam.
There are two major aspects of what sin incur. One was immediately manifested in the fall at Eden, called Guilt. Immediately upon disobeying God’s command in Eden, Adam and Eve lost their innocence and became naked. Ashamed and fearful, they hid, in vain, behind the trees in Eden and tried to cover up their nakedness with literal fig leaves.” Then follows death. The first is the immediate consequence; the latter is the “wages” or “reward,” which comes later. The apostle explains this long-drawn out process, as follows:
“Blessed is the man who endures [not yields or justifies] temptation; for when he has been tried (proved), he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (“if you love Me, keep My commandments,” John14: 15). Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone [as Satan does]. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is finished (full-grown), brings forth death.” James 1: 12-15, N.K.J.V.
Guilt alone condemns, and can kill. As someone put it, “a guilty conscience does not need a hung men’s jury.” Christ, the Son of man, the second and last Adam, in His human nature that was made “in the likeness of sinful flesh, suffered “even unto death” for the guilt, not yet the sins of the whole world.” He never sinned and therefore never personally experienced the guilt that sinning incurs. But as man’s substitute and surety, He suffered the pain that guilt inflicts, not only that which Adam and Eve experienced in their consciences but the accumulated guilt of the sins of the whole world! It was this guilt-burden of fallen mankind that was “rolled upon Him” in His last Thursday night on earth that caused the “hiding of the Father’s face.” This was physically manifested by Him literally “sweating blood” as He fell as though dead upon the cold ground in the Garden of Gethsemane—not yet Calvary!
“But now [in the Garden of Gethsemane] He seemed to be shut out from the light of God’s sustaining presence. Now He was numbered with the transgressors. The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin [by experience] must be laid the iniquity of us all. So dreadful does sin appear to Him, so great is the weight of guilt which He must bear, that He is tempted to fear that it will shut Him out forever from His Father’s love. Feeling how terrible is the wrath of God against transgression, He exclaims, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.”- Desire of Ages, p. 685.
(Continued next week)