Day 3

O Come, Second Adam

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-8, Matthew 26:36-46, Romans 5:12-21

BY Guest Writer

Years ago, my husband and I lived in a house with a wall made almost entirely of glass. It reached to the ceiling where it angled into a row of skylights and lit up the entire house. We loved it, but there was one single design flaw: the wall circled around a giant sprawling tree. It was an old oak with long, thick branches that stretched precariously over the glass. We would stare up through the windows at the limbs dangling over us, and we knew: it was only a matter of time.

Then the storm came. We were in tornado country, and on a night when my phone was binging with weather alerts, a strong gust of wind hit the tree just right. A bough the width of my body fell squarely on top of the house and shattered several of the windows.

Somehow, a handful of windows survived the initial impact, but they sustained severe damage as well. Cracks spread across the plates in an intricate web, compromising the integrity of each panel. The glass held its form, but it was irreparable. Ultimately, we would need something new.

In Genesis 3, Adam’s very first sin has the effect of taking a bat to the windshield of the universe. Creation doesn’t shatter from the blow—the form holds—but the cracks run far and wide. Every single thing that came after that moment are marred by a crack running through—every animal, every plant, every person. We are born into this brokenness, and that is the legacy of Adam.

For millennia, the world existed in this fractured state. With kings, with prophets, with sacrifices, with the law, we tried to repair and reverse the cracks. But the damage was just too great. We would need a New Creation, and a new Adam to exercise dominion over it. And so, the world waited for it.

Enter Jesus, child of Bethlehem, born in a manger. A humble beginning for a man who would usher in a new creation. “For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).

This is what we anticipate during Advent, not just the coming Savior, but the great “making new” for which Creation has longed since the beginning of time. God’s plan has always been ambitious—not just a repair job, but total transformation—and it all began with the birth of His Son.

The question facing us today is this: who will we embrace as our spiritual ancestor—the first Adam or the second?

Sharon Hodde Miller is a writer, speaker, pastor’s wife, mom, and she holds a PhD on women and calling. She blogs at, and is the author of Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not about You.

Post Comments (156)

156 thoughts on "O Come, Second Adam"

  1. Kaye Olivar says:

    “God’s plan has always been ambitious…”

  2. Meg Herndon says:


  3. Beth Evans says:

    My answer would be we can only ever embrace both. We are human and fallible, we will sin. But to which do we turn to deal with sin? That’s the question.

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