In Romans 5:12-21 Paul talks about Jesus being the second Adam calling Adam “the pattern of the one to come.” Adam brought death and condemnation. Jesus brought grace and justification. In Adam, death reigned. In Christ, life reigns. Jesus truly is the second Adam…the one who came and this time “got it right” through his obedience to the Father. He never sinned like his forefather Adam sinned. In fact, Jesus did the reverse of the Adam move. Paul says it like this in Philippians 2:6-11,
“Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.“
Adam ate the fruit so he could be “like God.” Jesus was God and yet refused to fall into the trap of using his divinity as a “get out of jail free” card or as a trump card during his earthly life. Jesus is the new Adam…the second Adam. But there is another person who comes into the picture and I never picked up on this until reading Nahum Sarna’s JPS commentary on Genesis. There he gives numerous parallels with the creation story, some of them I had noticed before like “be fruitful and fill the earth” (Adam 0 Gen 1:22, Noah – Gen 8:17) but others hadn’t caught my eye. Here are a few of them:
- He says if you do the calculations in Genesis 6 you end up with Noah being the first man to be born after the death of Adam (Sarna, 49-50).
- Adam and Noah have three sons
- Of the three sons, one turns out to be prolematic
- Both had harmony with the animals
- In both stories the wind of God disturbs the waters
- the received similar blessings (as mentioned above)
- Both stories are followed by lists of people.
I find that to be pretty compelling especially when paired with the last post paralleling the flood account as the antithesis of the creation account. I thought you might find that interesting as well! This doesn’t put Noah in any type of Jesus role but it is interesting that God started off with a new man to repopulate the world in a similar fashion as he did the first man.