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. Megan Graham says:

    Praying for an obedient spirit.

  2. Tiffany Agyarko says:

    When I read the verse that says “Through one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” this thought immediately came in my head: What could happen if I chose to obey God’s will for my life? Could many possibly be led to Christ, feel loved or feel safe even.

    1. Kathleen Harlow says:


    2. Ladonna Garbison says:

      I love that thought!

    3. Jameka Jones says:

      That’s powerful!

  3. Miranda Stoops says:

    This is so important for me to remember, that world desperately needs to be the new creation, not only receive a repair job. My heart aches for the brokenness of the world, which often leads to my desperately attempting to fix it as far as I can help, whether through, justice, activism, or education. These things are good, but they cannot bring healing. That is what I must choose to focus on, the ultimate healing that comes through Christ, not my mere attempts at repair. Christ will bring it to pass.

  4. Sarah Wakefield says:

    That verse in Romans is really impacting me. “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.” 5:19. I don’t recall ever hearing that but that is so profound. It’s so easy for me to accept that Adam and Eve are the reason we have sin in the world but so hard for me to accept that one man came and erased it all by sacrificing himself, coming down to be one of us. It really changes my perspective.

  5. Colleen Shulenberger says:

    Goodness, what a perfect description and thought provoking question at the end. Choose whom you serve – Praise Jesus for His sacrifice for my wickedness.

  6. Y K says:

    Transformation vs a repair job. I love this metaphor.

  7. Monica Sprague says:

    Thank God for his plan of salvation. I weep when I think of God, omniscient, creating all this and knowing that it will become broken and that He himself, through Jesus, would become such a great sacrifice to bring us back to righteousness with himself. Nothing I do, all you God. Your Grace alone, God. Thank you.

  8. Shannon Morris says:

    Incredible analogy! It just made the story make so much sense when put thatvway… that probably sounds dumb to say but super great for me

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