In the beginning, God built a Garden where people could live at peace with God and each other and enjoy God’s protection and provision. There was no conflict, no hurt, no want. It was very good. (Genesis 1&2)
Adam and Eve were created to be the “image of God”. They were to represent God and order the world God’s good way. To do “justice.” (mishpat)
If Adam and Eve did justice then people would have continued to live in peace with each other and with God. They would have enjoyed “righteousness.” (tzedakah)
But instead, a Rebel creature planted in Adam and Eve a doubt that grew into a rebellion against God. They defined “good” their own way, and the world spiraled deeper and deeper into conflict, hurt, want, and death.
But God promised the Rebel that one of Eve’s descendants would someday fight him. The son of Eve would be wounded. The Rebel would be crushed. (Genesis 3:14-15)
Now, picture Jesus in the wilderness many years later. The Rebel is there hissing the same lie that took root in Adam’s heart generations before: “Can you really trust God?”
But this time it fails. Jesus roars back, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Luke 4:1-13)
Jesus is the new and faithful Adam. He is the new and faithful Image of God unwaveringly carrying out God’s “will on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-13). Jesus is reordering our broken world and our broken relationships with God and with each other.
In Colossians 1:15-17, Paul writes, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
On the cross, Jesus is wounded by the Rebel. When his lifeless body is buried it seems Jesus isn’t the son of Eve the world has been waiting for. But three days later Jesus lives again, defeating the Rebel and death itself! (Romans 5:12-21)
Jesus’ resurrection births a new creation and a new kind of human. He is the first-born of this new humanity who are the image of God Adam failed to be – doing justice and enjoying righteousness together now and forever.