45 And so it is written,
The first man Adam was made a living soul;
the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
When God made Adam, he was doing something new and different from all that had come before. Dirt was shaped, and he who had spoken everything into being stooped to breath life into the form of a man. Man became a sentient being, made to use all his unique faculties to commune with his maker. No creature before him had this sort of relationship with God. Then he fell, his wife fell with him, and all their children fell. Their communion was broken, their relationships were torn asunder. They ceased to relate to God and each other as God’s children. The death they had chosen with clear-eyes and proud hearts came for them.
Then came one whose eye was clearer and who had real reason to boast before God. He displayed God’s glory and fulfilled God’s promises to the sons of men. Proud-hearted leaders of the people would not join him, so they made a plan to beat him. Unbeknownst to them, this was also God’s plan. Before he was beaten, he was given a glimpse of the anguish he would suffer to fix the broken race of men. In another garden, the true and better Adam humbly submitted to God’s plan. That day, he was installed on Mt. Zion as the servant king that the first man could not be. He defeated the power that bound the heart of the first Adam’s race, and three days after, he defeated death altogether. He didn’t come back a ghost, but as the first real man, fully empowered by God’s spirit. He then ate a broiled fish, called his friends to breakfast at a lakeside and not long after, sent them out to declare the amazing news that we can get out scott-free from the prison of our sin-bound-hearts and be accepted as God’s sons and daughters.
Imagine getting let out of prison, winning the lottery, (when you didn’t even buy a ticket) and finding out that after all that, you were selected for adoption to be commenced immediately.
This is an imperfect blurry picture of the wonder and glory that Paul is trying to express when he says, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life giving spirit.”
We have become heirs of that Life. Thanks be to God.