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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.”—1 Corinthians 15:47 (NIV)
I think it’s fair to say that, more often than not, a sequel is usually not as good as the original. The Matrix: Reloaded failed to recapture the depth and masterful storytelling from the original, while pretty much every Disney animated sequel is pretty awful—which is why they end up being direct-to-video releases. But every once in a while, someone makes a sequel that improves upon the foundation laid in the first film and ends up eclipsing it in every way. Among this elite group are films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Godfather 2, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and my all-time favorite sequel, The Dark Knight.
A great sequel is supposed to improve upon the original; it’s supposed to elevate the series to new heights while still being unique and complete. When I read our verse today, this is precisely what I see the apostle Paul telling us! He says, “The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.” Who is he talking about? Adam and Jesus, the two federal heads of the human race, the two types of the two eras of humanity.
Adam, the first type of mankind was from the earth; he was created from the dust, made of the earth. Man owes his earthliness to the fact that he was formed from the earth, but Christ Jesus, the second man, does not owe it to heaven that He is heavenly and glorious. He made the heavens, and by descending from them and making His dwelling among us, He showed Himself to us as the Lord.
Adam acted on behalf of all mankind, tying us all to sin and death through his fall, passing on this debt and punishment to all of us. Jesus—free from the stain of the curse through His conception by the Holy Spirit—acted on behalf of all mankind to allow us to be born again, to set us free from the curse of Adam, to bring us back into relationship with God!
Jesus, though He was the second Adam, is the prototype from which Adam was created (Colossians 1:15) and is the greatest sequel of all time. He took all the failures, shortcomings, and missteps of the first and perfected them; through this He gave us the opportunity to not only step into this perfection as His Spirit makes His home inside of us, but He also gave us the model upon which to craft a life “worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27 NIV).
DIG: Read 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 5.
DISCOVER: How are you imitating the model of the second Adam? His example is found in the Gospels and can be seen successfully put into practice throughout the rest of the New Testament by the apostles and other believers. If they can do it, you can too!
DISPLAY: Meditate on one of the qualities that Christ modeled for us through His life. Consider how you can live it out more tangibly in your life today.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.