Jesus is portrayed in the book of John as the “New Adam.” This is also echoed in the epistle to the Corinthians (15:45) and elsewhere. In climatic finish of John’s Gospel, a new creation story is unfolding. In chapter 20, Jesus has risen from the dead. He appears to Mary in a garden, early in the morning “while it was still dark” and she thinks He is the gardener. As N.T. Wright points out, in a sense He is. The scene invokes the story from Genesis 1 where God creates the Garden of Eden (meaning paradise) out of the dark “formless void.”
In this new garden Mary goes in darkness and finds more than she could have imagined. Jesus, freshly risen from the grave, stands in paradise. This is quite literally “Heaven on Earth,” because Jesus, the gate-keeper to Heaven, is standing on the Earth. John develops the point further in Revelation 21 when he shows that our final destination as God’s children is not disembodiment to heaven, but the arrival (or revealing) of Heaven on the Earth.
By seeing the resurrected Christ in the garden, we realize that Jesus is the new “first man,” like Adam was, lord and steward of the New Earth. Jesus came to show us the way to find Him here, and to join His mission of propagating paradise (the Kingdom of God).
1 Corinthians 15:42b-49 explains the process we must follow:
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
As we find the way to His garden, through our own “cross” and death to ourselves, we are also made “new”–transformed to our true self.
This blog, is about following the “New Adam,” about becoming like Him, and about living out the way of new creation as we were meant to. It’s about recovering what was lost: purity of heart, stewardship of the Earth, and our friendship with God. Jesus once spoke to my heart that my name, Adam, means “walks with God.” This blog describes that journey.