Two Adams

Rev. William Cwirla

Gen 2:4-9, 15-25 / Romans 12:1-8 / John 19:16-30

In Nomine Iesu

The Bible is the story of two Adams. Adam 1.0 and Adam 2.0. The first Adam was from the earth. His name tells you that. “Adam” means earth. Earthling, mud man, Dusty.

Adam 1.0 was the high priest of creation before God - coram Deo - lifting up all creation as a thanksgiving sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

The Lord placed Adam 1.0 in a garden, an ordered place, a liturgical space. Adam’s chancel was the center of the garden with its two trees - the Tree of Life and the Tree of knowing Good and Evil. The liturgy was simple: “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of knowing good and evil you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” How much simpler could it have been? Eat, don’t eat. Eat from any tree you wish. Every fruit and nut is yours for food to sustain your life. Eat free from the Tree of Life and live forever. But do not eat from the tree of knowing good and evil. That one is not given to you.

“To know” is to experience intimately. To experience the good creation as good and evil was not given to Adam the Priest. God made everything good. Every living creature was paraded before High Priest Adam for him to name. That’s how he exercised his high priesthood, lifting up the creation coram Deo, before God, and naming every living creature.

It was “not good” for Adam 1.0 to serve as high priest alone. He needed an assistant, a complementary counterpart. Someone like him yet not like him. Equal to yet not interchangeable with. And so the Lord put Adam 1.0 to sleep and took away a portion of his side, his female side, and from it God made a woman. Eve 1.0 Man and woman, male and female, ish and ishah. Bone of his bones; flesh of his flesh. The High Priest and his Bride together. Joined together in the intimate union of his “knowing” her and she being known by him, the two would be one flesh. And the High Priest and His Bride both were naked coram Deo and before each and without shame. Of what would they be ashamed of?

Adam 1.0 acquired a deadly virus called Sin, a Trojan Horse unleashing all manner of sins and death. The high priest and his bride listened to the pious lie and bit into the seductive notion that they could be gods in place of God. Instead of high masses, Adam 1.0, the high priest of creation, now offered black masses. Inverted, mancentered liturgies. Idolatries. Blasphemies. He hid from God. He blamed His Bride. They both blamed God.

Adam’s priesthood became a drudgery. Work. His food would no longer be fruits and nuts he did not work for, but bread that came from wheat laboriously sown in weedy soil and watered by the sweat of his brow. Now he had to be covered in vestments. Not the fig leaves of his own self-justification but with the skins of vicarious blood sacrifice.Something had to die in his place. Adam 1.0 was totally corrupted by Sin. There was no rehabbing him. He had to die. From the dust he came; to the dust he would return.

You and I are sons and daughters of Adam. You 1.0 Everything we do is corrupted with the trojan horse of Adam’s Sin. The symptoms pop out all over - jealousy, anger, division, rage, disobedience, lawlessness. We attempt to justify ourselves. We invent our own liturgies to gods made in our image and likeness. The sacred union of Adam and Eve as “one flesh” has been totally corrupted by our hookups and shackups and infidelities and all the ways we use the good gift of our bodies for our own pleasure rather than service to others. The Trojan Horse of Sin has unleashed all manner of sins in us. There is no fix, no upgrade, no firmware, no patch. Adam 1.0 cannot be rehabbed.

God sent a second Adam, Adam 2.0, humanity’s new head and High Priest. Born of woman, born under Law, born without Adam 1.0’s Sin. True God of His Father; true Man of His mother. Like us and not like us. He came to be humanity’s High Priest, to live coram Deo under the Law and to offer the one world-atoning sacrifice. Himself. His own body and blood, His death and His life, for the life of the world.

Adam 2.0 has a Bride too. Like Eve, this Bride was also taken from her sleeping Adam’s side. The Church, the Bride of Christ, has her origin in the blood and water that flowed from dead Jesus’ side. Adam 2.0 sleeps and His Bride is made.

High Priest Jesus lifts up His sacrifice on the cross by being lifted up. Like Adam 1.0, He too is naked coram Deo as the world raffles off his clothing. He bears the shame of Adam’s nakedness and your shame.

He places His mother in the care of His favored disciple. A man must leave father and mother to cling to His bride. In His death, the second Adam offers Himself up as a sacrifice for the first Adam and all his children. For you. His last word, “It is finished” seals His sacrifice. It is complete. Nothing more can be added to this one, perfect sacrifice, and that includes your works, your pieties, your prayers. This sacrifice is His alone to offer.

From Adam 2.0’s side comes His Bride, the Church, your mother in Baptism and the mother of all the living reborn from above. Second Adam rises from the sleep of death to delights in His Bride as “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.” He names her; He claims her; He saves her. He washes her with water and the Word. He is one flesh with her. He gives to her in love, and she receives from him in faith.

Baptized into Jesus, you are priests in the royal priesthood of High Priest Jesus, the second Adam. Born anew from above. Washed pure and holy. Clothed with Jesus’ vestments of righteousness. Fed from the fruits of His tree - His Body and His Blood, His death and life for you. Forgiven. In Adam 2.0 you are a new you. You 2.0. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; behold the old has gone, the new has come.” You 1.0 is dead. You 2.0 lives in Christ.

That means you are free. Free to serve those around you in love, lifting up all creation, consecrating everything you touch by the Word of God and prayer, offering your own bodies as living sacrifices. Not dead and bloody. That was for Jesus to do for you. But living sacrifices that are holy and acceptable for Jesus’ sake.

In Adam 1.0 we die. In Adam 2.0, in Jesus, we live, coram Deo. Now and forever.
Amen.

Created: August 6th, 2011