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Adam and Jesus

In the era of the Great Depression, the dust bowl, and breadlines, it might seem fitting that the 1930s also produced a dark comedy cartoon that came to be known as The Addams Family. Created by illustrator Charles Addams for The New Yorker magazine, the single-frame comic gags took a satirical look at a ghoulishly eccentric American family. Eventually the strip was adapted into a television comedy series that portrayed the family as somewhere between normal and morbid, in a home rigged with trap doors, and assisted by a mysterious disembodied hand called “Thing.” The television series puts this close-knit, bizarre clan in a rundown Victorian mansion near a cemetery and a swamp at 0001 Cemetery Lane.

In thinking about the legacy of Charles Addams, I’ve wondered whether his haunted family, humorously enmeshed in the dark side of life, was an intentional takeoff on the storyline of the Bible.

The Adam of Eden also lived in an enchanted world somewhere between nature as we know it, good, evil, everlasting life, and 0001 Cemetery Lane. The family of Genesis lived in a world where a snake could talk and where the fruit of one tree could give you life, while the fruit of another could take it away.

The Bible’s family of Adam, however, rises far above the comedic, bizarre, morbid life of the Addams family. From the opening words of Genesis, we hear a story that is lofty, realistic, and hopeful in its portrayal of good and evil. Its use of the supernatural is not entertaining and arbitrary. The miracles of the Bible instead are carefully orchestrated in a way that eventually find their source and purpose in the God who lovingly and truthfully revealed Himself in Christ.

From Genesis to Jesus, a real-life drama moves from the created and fallen Adam of Eden to what the New Testament calls the last Adam—resurrected and declared to be the Creator, Savior, and Lord of a new creation. Even the Bible’s emphasis on human mortality is life-giving in purpose (Romans 5:14-15). As author Paul explains in his first letter to the Corinthians, “ ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (Romans 15:45 NKJV).

By Paul’s comparison of Adam and Jesus, he brings into focus the redemptive contrast he has in mind when he writes, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (Romans 15:22 NKJV). With this sentence Paul captures one of the most wonderful and profound truths of life. In words that recall the Adam of Genesis, he describes the beginning of a new story and family that lives somewhere between mortality as we know it and the gift of everlasting life. So he writes in his letter to the Romans, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life” (Romans 5:18 NKJV).

Since Paul’s day, many have observed the similarities and contrasts that Paul alludes to when he refers to the first and last Adams. Both were born without a human father. Both were tested by the devil, one in a garden, the other in a wilderness. Both left the legacy of a tree. Both died for sin, one for his own, the other for the sins of others. Both acted in a way that affected every member of their extended family.

Together, the similarities and differences between Adam and Jesus form the most important story ever told. The life and immortality that the first Adam lost by one act of distrust, the last Adam restored by one act of suffering and death for the sins of the whole world.

The result is a life-changing story that puts our own experience in perspective. From the first Adam, we have inherited our physical, fallen nature and mortality. Through faith in the last Adam, our spiritual immortality is restored as we are born and adopted into the everlasting family of God.

In Christ, we learn to laugh with joy. Even though He lived His life in the shadow of a horrific sacrifice, He used the darkness and morbid suffering of His own death to become a real reason for us to believe in life and light and love and hope.

By the time His story is told, we see why His biographers describe Him as the Source of all that is both natural and supernatural. His touch on the face, hand, or shoulder of those living in despair brings them into the presence of the God of the nail-scarred hand.

Father in heaven, there’s so much we don’t yet understand. But slowly we’re beginning to see why it is so urgent for us to trust Your Son. Nowhere else can we find such an answer for our own wrongs and mortality. In relying on Him, we find our evil taken so seriously—yet so forgiven. Because of Him, we are overwhelmed by how much You have sacrificed to bring us into the truth, hope, and love of Your eternal life.

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28 Responses to “Adam and Jesus”

  1. BruceC says:

    That was wonderful Mart. I truly enjoyed that.
    Makes me think of how Satan must have strutted around in his prIde after Adam and Eve lost their immortality.
    And yet the Creator of the universe; the eternal God, comes to earth in the form of a humble man serving and giving His own life so that we can be redeemed and have that eternal life that Satan was sure he had destroyed for all time. How ironic it is that God uses humility to defeat prIde and evil.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  2. SFDBWV says:

    This topic we have entertained before and I am wondering if this isn’t the September BTA email subject.

    I have read and noticed how throughout Scripture there is a consistency of the first son being out of favor and the second son in.

    Cain-Abel, Ishmael-Isaac, Esau-Jacob, even in the selection of a king there was Saul-David and as Mart has again lain out for us Adam-Jesus.

    However I wonder if it is fair to compare Adam to Jesus. Jesus being God and Adam being His creation.

    If we think about it for a moment each man (Adam and Jesus) had their purpose in the story of God and man.

    Adam to show a need for Jesus and Jesus to fulfill that need for Adam.

    I have always been a fan of the comics section of the newspaper even to this day I enjoy the wit and humor of the comic strip. Though it has shrunk in size and not quite as entertaining as the day’s of Alley Oop, Lil Abner, and the Katzenjammer Kids. Still I can get a smile out of Pickles and Hagar.

    I will have to consort my book of comic strips to recall the Addams Family again; I always can use a smile.


  3. poohpity says:

    Mart, I would like to include your note to the readers of this article. “Dear Friend: Over time it’s been dawning on me that there is a way of reading the Bible that seems to make it come alive. By seeing words that all take their place in telling one big, life changing Story, I often feel like I’m being touched by the hand of God and renewed from the inside out.
    Alternative ways of reading the Scripture have sometimes left me feeling guilt, worthless, proud, judgmental, unrealistically hopeful or simply unmoved.
    As you read this month’s accompanying column, see if you can sense what I mean about reading the Bible in a way that brings us to the Source of life and love and real hope.

    Because of Him,

    Knowing that the first Adam is what left us feeling guilt, worthlessness, proud thinking we are able to live out the law which makes us judgmental, with no hope from the consequences of sin and simply chained to unrealistic goals. Then we are changed by the second Adam who if we truly believe in the work done on the Cross should make us jump for joy, gladness and a grateful heart that makes anyone who knows that feel a renewal of hope way deep down inside to the very core of who we are. That would change anyone by turning that frown upside down to share the love, hope and joy we now know.

  4. poohpity says:

    This morning in our service we sang the song, “He Touched Me” which the refrain brought to heart this topic and how it should touch our lives.

    Shackled by a heavy burden,
    Neath a load of guilt and shame;
    Then the hand of Jesus touched me,
    And now I am no longer the same.

    He touched me, O, He touched me,
    And O, the joy that FLOODS my soul;
    Something happened, and now I know,
    He touched me and made me whole.

    Since I met this blessed Savior,
    Since He cleansed and made me whole;
    I will never cease to praise Him,
    I’ll SHOUT it while eternity rolls.


    Wouldn’t it be nice if we read the Bible in that light rather than God being angry, wrathful and vengeful. Hebrews 13:8 NIV

  5. remarutho says:

    Good Evening Mart & Friends –

    This topic is most provocative in our time! The
    entertainment edge that explores all around the issue of Jesus’ sacrificial atonement for humanity’s separation from God – like a robot vacuum in a big living room – somehow methodically trapped in a dark corner: a terminal chemist who goes entirely bad – a family who embrace death as most families embrace life – lovers who drink one another’s blood, seeking immortality by a macabre parody of the slaying of the Lamb. Altogether disturbing and firmly lodged, suspended apart from the grace of God.

    Given that the Addams Family is the dark obverse of the first family of Eden, perhaps they do depict in photographic negative , “The miracles of the Bible…carefully orchestrated in a way that eventually find their source and purpose in the God who lovingly and truthfully revealed Himself in Christ.” It seems to me, Mart, that you give the original cartoon author much grace and benefit of the doubt.

    There is a parched, dry spirit in the endless worldly dialectic against Christ. It seems to me the dawn of the genuine resurrection of Jesus is the great hope of all who are seeking the true, unconditional love of God. Genesis launches “a real-life drama…from the created and fallen Adam of Eden to what the New Testament calls the last Adam—resurrected and declared to be the Creator, Savior, and Lord of a new creation.” What refreshment is offered in the Scriptures! Here is the nearness of God through God’s Word. God still performs miracles. God still saves, redeems and delivers us from evil.

    The world rages on in its pursuit of its own godhood. Yet, here readily available in the great saga of the Bible is the explanation of how the first Adam (you and I) comes into the joyful hope, freely given in Jesus, the last Adam.


  6. oneg2dblu says:

    Good thoughts and well expressed.
    When we dare witness by living differently, walking in His obedience, we are seen by the world around us with those who do not share that perspective.
    We share that part of the catalist that developed our once negitive veiw of God where we used to place our hope in the temporal things of this world, as we now define in our God-given way, with our born again assisted walk, the gift we received.
    We were baptized in this new life with a bathing solution that developed our negitivity to God, into the living water where we were eternally changed into placing our eternal hope in Christ instead.

    Our God is the only one who developed and bathed us in that eternal curing agent.

    We know, that we know this, because now, God’s word is heard and believed by us, and that changes our direction forever.

    We who know that we know, we already have the answer to this question, “Heavenly Father, How can we know who thou will call, when thou will call, and who will come?”

    “My Sheep hear my voice and they follow me.”

    Be Blessed, Gary

  7. poohpity says:

    How often do we see or even understand that Jesus is the Source of all that is supernatural and spiritual because we are so busy in our limited strength trying to be Him in the lives of others? He is limitless we are limited. His love wants to care for us for our everything and we love Him by showing our dependence. The first Adam shows what can happen when we depend on us and the second Adam shows what can happen when we depend on Him, we learn to laugh with joy. We do not need comics or comedians for that kind of laughter and joy.

  8. belleu says:

    As I was reading your article, I was deeply moved by realizing the fact I am part Adam and part Christ. Jesus was part Adam and part God. Understanding this makes me feel even closer to Jesus than before. His humanity touches me; knowing he became a man is an amazing thought. His Godliness changes me as He lives inside of me.

  9. foreverblessed says:

    This comparison of Adam and Jesus is such a learning experience,
    Thanks for bringing up Romans 5, (and 1 Corinthians 15)
    For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. is in 1 Corinthians 15:22 (Not Romans 15:22)

    The whole point of this comparison between the two it seems to me is to point out the big contrast these two have:
    Under Adam we live in the consequences of sin (death), but under Jesus we live in Grace:
    So that , just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Grace might reign! Grace reigns over sin! If we hold on to the faith that Jesus has conquered sin, so we reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
    We reign in life! What a theme! No more defeat, feeling down, that everything will go down and out,
    No, we reign in life, spiritual life, the life that is upward, God-ward,
    since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
    Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
    Col 3:1-2
    Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature, Col 3:5-7

    Christ freed us from this bond we had to earthly things, we were tied to it, and couldn’t be free, but now we are free, and step by step leaving that old nature behind, it is a process, but a step at a time. And always remembering that what is behind us, is gone forever, as far as east is from the west. What is done wrong and we bring it to light, God forgives and forgets. The daily devotion of “God at eventide” is about it too, that God even repairs what we have done wrong to others if we have devoted our lives to Him.
    Lets trust God more and more.

    We stand in this grace, Romans 5:2 and we rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God
    These verses 1-5: we already rejoice because of the hope, but then it goes on in verse 3, that we rejoice in suffering, because suffering produces perseverance, then character, and character again produces hope?!
    And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
    Suddenly I see a cycle in these verses which I never noticed before! But do not as yet understand it fully.

  10. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… I read this weight leasing/burden bearing yoke of responsiblitiy of Christ at the Eventide this morning and also found another sense of hope that I had not fully embraced before. Thanks for sharing that. God always Provides just what we need. Gary

  11. hamer says:

    By the time His story is told, we see why His biographers describe Him as the Source of all that is both natural and supernatural. His touch on the face, hand, or shoulder of those living in despair brings them into the presence of the God of the nail-scarred hand.
    By the time our story is told, will our biographers describe us as builders of straight paths to the source of all that is both natural and supernatural? Will our touch on the faces, hands, or shoulders of those living in despair show them maybe their first and only glimpse of God’s nail scarred hands.
    Both Adams lead by action and words. But only Christ action and words are we to emulate. If we do, then only in the comic strips or reruns of The Adam family could the first Adam get a foot hold. Ah what a beautiful day it would be to behold.

  12. lovely says:

    As I think of what the first Adam and the last Adam meant to me in real life. I realize that when sin entered after the fall fear entered where Adam blame Eve and Eve the snake. Since then conflict came , we blame each other for all the trouble be it in church, families or our country. Many people looks happy outside but dead in the inside (the spiritual death when Adam took the fruit). People has been seeking for things to satisfy them something to bring them life. Therefore Jesus came and say I am the way the truth and the LIFE. Turn to Jesus He will give us that life, in turn through us we can bring that reconciliation to the world Man to God and man to man 2 Corinthians 5:19

  13. oneg2dblu says:

    lovely… that was just lovely.
    Your prespective on how it was sin alone that brought out all that blaming of others from the Garden to the present.
    Now we even blame Christ for our Salvation.
    He is the reason for our New Life,
    He is the reason for our Faith,
    He is the reason for our Forgiveness,
    He is the reason for our Hope,
    He is the reason for ouy Joy,
    He is the reason for our Peace,
    He is the reason for Patience,
    He is the reason for our Kindness,
    He is the reason for our Love,
    If any one finds us guilty of these,
    We can now blame Christ…
    He is the reason.

  14. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Mart, you wrote:

    “The miracles of the Bible instead (of “the comedic, bizarre, morbid life of the Addams family”)are carefully orchestrated in a way that eventually find their source and purpose in the God who lovingly and truthfully revealed Himself in Christ.”

    Your statement strikes a chord this morning that resonates in the vast difference between any worldly writing — even the greatest — and the divinely inspired words of Scripture in the Old and New Testaments. In the first Adam our heritage is to rebel and reject the wisdom and the glory of God’s will for us. In the second Adam (the Lord Jesus) we see the Way to a transformed mind and heart, freely offered by our loving God.

    Perhaps the parody of entrenched human insistence on the outcome of death — found in the Addams Family cartoon and TV series — will touch the hearts of some. I wonder, however, whether a plain telling of the Gospel is meant to be a direct offer of God’s grace, mercy and love for us. Are our hearts so worldly and self-absorbed that the plain telling remains unbelievable? I pray it isn’t so.


  15. twayne says:

    I like the way you explained the name of Adam so many new to the reading may more understand and have more desire to stay with it. But, we also must explain to receive all of Gods blessings, the only way to him we must accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. So many read and think I believe this and think that is all I need to do, and that will not, get them to heaven, they must commit to believing Jesus is their Lord and Savior, John 14.6

  16. poohpity says:

    As I consider those who gave this post a hands up and those 6 who gave it a hands down, I wonder what you consider the Gospel message? It troubles me by what one bases their faith on if not this good news that was presented in this article. Is it due to an inability to read what was fully presented in this message or is it how it was presented?

    I would lay odds that those who did vote a hands down will not speak up as to their reason to support that decision, not that they have to I am just so curious! Is it just to be oppositional or is there really a supported reason? Did Mart write something that is contrary to the what the Bible teaches?

  17. migun says:

    Praise God that we are all different and unique. Perhaps those that voted a “down” on Mart’s observation simply did it because the comparison is something they will not thinking about. But, I enjoyed it.

  18. poohpity says:

    I enjoyed it too, migun!! I was just curious and there is always something to learn from thumbs down as well. I will join in the praising God for us all being unique and different. How boring life would be if that were not the case.

  19. lovely says:

    thanks Gary and the rest for acknowledging my post and to add to your post as well as to migun since we’re all unique I pray that you , being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
    Ephesians 3:17-18

  20. foreverblessed says:

    Wow, I woke up this morning and then find out that someone is praying this powerful prayer over me…..

    thank you very much lovely!
    Let me pray some more, together with Lovely for us all:
    I pray with my knees bowed to God the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the (unsearchable) riches of His glory, He may grant you to be strengthened with power in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith

  21. SFDBWV says:

    I am guessing our friend and benefactor Mart is off traveling around the globe again, I hope not in the Mid East as the political climate there seems a little bit on edge with all the saber rattling going on.

    Not really seeing any real purpose in exploring the differences between Jesus and Adam I have stayed away from here and the thread of comments.

    My friend Foreverblessed once ask me why it is I keep going back to the garden in so many of my thoughts along many of our subjects. I do so because it all began there, *we* all began there and often when looking for answers one has to go back to the beginning to find the answers.

    Though we are all individual souls, individual people and have somewhat individual thoughts, we are still Adam; even Eve came from him.

    Every one of us every color of us every detail of us originated there in the created being of Adam; after the fall.

    Eve’s *punishment* being able to produce children in intense pain, but still part of that punishment is for her to have children.

    We are all children of Eve’s punishment.

    When we come to the point of being *born again* the punishment experience connected to it is the punishment Jesus took for Eve and all her children on the cross, it is not a natural birth as Nicodemus ask, but rather a supernatural birth of our supernatural new being.

    Adams punishment, death to him and all of us, Jesus’ death took away Adam’s punishment from him and all of us. Yet we still die in the natural, it is in the supernatural that we have eternal life.

    Adam was rescued from eternal death and separation from God by Jesus’ sacrifice and so are we.

    Through this rescue of Adam we are all also *saved*, because we are all still Adam.

    The story Jesus gave of the prodigal son, is the story of God and Adam.

    We can compare Jesus to Adam in this way; Jesus loved Adam enough to do whatever it took to bring him back home, Adam is sorry for all the trouble, but tearfully grateful and willing to return home a changed man.


  22. poohpity says:

    I guess the comparison and contrast of Adam and Jesus would not have a purpose if God had not placed it in the Bible to learn from. For us to use it as a means to grow in our knowledge of God and of man. Those kind of things may not be important to some but to others they are very important and is the foundation of our faith.

    We learn that Eve’s punishment was her desire for her husband and he would rule over her. There is nothing worse especially when a husband carries that to far as in it is his way or the high way, totally domineering. The pain of child birth only lasts until that baby is placed in your arms and the pain is soon forgotten as what you carried inside is now carried in your arms totally dependent on the parent. Pain turns into joy. It is not punishment to have children, my heart breaks for the parent that feels that way. But the other part of that curse is what has destroyed women for centuries and they are still cursed by it.

    The ground was cursed because of Adam which results in painful toil to produce the food they would eat by the sweat of the brow and their bodies would return to that soil rather than immortality.

    Thankfully because of Jesus the very essence of who we are is taken from this physical mortal body made from dust and we are given new bodies that will be free from the curse of fallen humanity to immortality living with God forever. That is the purpose and importance of this topic which would cause anyone to think about it very often hopefully and would be the foundation in which we read scripture with a joy and a new hope bringing laughter and with immeasurable gratitude for the second Adam.

    One can live this Christian life with a defeatist, depressed, self pitying attitude or be filled with joy, contented and grateful.

  23. SFDBWV says:

    It is a beautiful day in West Virginia, blue skies 70 degrees a nice refreshing breeze blowing and for this moment all is well.

    It is in these brief moments that I appreciate being alive and being here. Many times a day and certainly many times, I, like many of us wonder what its all about and what part do we play in the scope of life and will of God.

    Never really knowing for sure, only feeling the pat on the back sometimes God gives us either spiritually or from the members of the body of Christ.

    We always have a choice, to give a person a smile or frown, which is it do you think God wants us to do? Cause strife or show love?

    Just like Joshua, as for me and my household we will serve and strive to please the Lord.

    So from the top of the Appalachia’s in West Virginia to all who read this I hope for the best for you all and pray that you have a blessed day.

    See you all in the next topic.


  24. poohpity says:

    Steve, living in the country from the top of the hills of WV sounds so cool and refreshing without the hustle of city life and the hot desert heat of 110 degrees in the shade which intensifies by the surrounding black top and busy traffic. It is even hotter when one is out in the sun.

    I hope to encourage you with what I have come to believe as the part we play in the scope of life and that is to have a loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord and share the love we have experienced with others. From what I have been told you do so much in your small community I bet you get plenty of pats on the back from them and from people on here as well. Even if you do not get the pats I am sure they are all very thankful to you for all that you do, not to mention all you do in your own home.

  25. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Looking at Jeremiah 18:1-11 (Jeremiah at the potter’s house) has me thinking and praying about how both Adam and Jesus were born by the breath of God —

    1) the Spirit entering the dust of the earth (ha Adam, the soil – Genesis 1:27, 2:7) and
    2) the Spirit of God entering the virgin Mary (conception by the Holy Spirit – Luke 1:35).

    The perfect man was born to a living woman, while the man who was tempted and gave in, was created to be the very first human by God himself.

    It appears that it was not the dust of the earth that rebelled against the Lord, but the spirit of the man him/herself that was subject to sin.

    The miracle of a perfect, sinless human being (Son of God, Son of Man) is realized in Jesus of Nazareth. This is the beginning of the New Creation in the New Covenant.


  26. poohpity says:

    I enjoy Peter’s description of this change from the corruptible (1st Adam) flesh which he compared to grass and flowers that withers and dies to being born again into the Spirit which is incorruptible then attributes change into this life by learning and knowing God’s Word. Comparing our original birth with our Spiritual birth we are little babes one desires mothers milk the other desire spiritual milk which is God’s Word. Do I crave spiritual milk after I have tasted how gracious or full of grace our Lord is? Do I still crave the things of the natural life that was given by the 1st Adam? 1 Peter 1:22-2:3

    Do I read this life changing story through the eyes of the 1st Adam or through the eyes of the joy, love and inspiration of the 2nd Adam?

  27. remarutho says:

    Amen Pooh!

    Psalm 103:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

    All that is Spirit-born endures.


  28. foreverblessed says:

    Going back to Adam makes me feel defeated: we had paradise, and lost it. But maybe that is my own personal story. As everybody needs a different approach to the Gospel and the sanctification.
    But reminding that I am now born of the Spirit, is a good thing, not to forget, I read it in the morning, and during the day I lose sight of it, but Yes, I am a new creation in Christ, the old (the first Adam) has gone, has no more power over me. So I send my old man away as soon as he wants to reign in me again.
    With all these gifts God gave me through faith in Jesus, I can now reign in life, no more defeat, although physical things of life fades like a flower, the eternal life in forever! (thanks Pooh for that explanation)
    Romans 5
    v17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

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