“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.” - Genesis ii.23.
“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” - Luke xxiv. 26.
Having been requested to write upon the subject embraced in the above Scripture, we shall endeavor to do so with such ability as the Lord may give us. The subject is vast, sublime and of the greatest importance to the Lord's children, though many of his children have failed to see clearly this vital relationship between Christ and his people, so wonderfully set forth in the Scripture at the head of this article. That lack of sight, however, does not make them less the children of God, nor does it make this point of doctrine less God's eternal truth. The truth of God is an endless chain, so to speak, taking in every point of doctrine, order and practice. Anything, therefore, outside of this chain cannot be connected thereto, nor can anything of the chain be taken from it. It is just as the Lord made it, and will stand as made.
Adam was created and made according to God's purpose and plan, regardless of desire, willingness or objection, upon his part. He was “the figure of him that was to come” - Christ. It is perfectly understood that Adam in his creation and formation knew nothing of Christ, hence it was not by choice upon his part that he was the figure of Christ. It should be remembered that the definite article the is used in that record of him; not a figure, as one of many, but “the figure.” “So God created man in his own image, in the likeness of God created he him; male and female created he them … and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”
There has been much discussion with reference as to the image of God in which man was created and made, but there seems no room for debate on that subject, as the Scriptures just quoted declare plainly that the union between Adam and Eve was the likeness of God, and in that union, or unity, was Adam, male and female, the likeness of Him that was to come. In their creation they were one, and their name one - “Adam.” In formation they were one, male and female, or, in other words, Eve was in Adam; hence one life, making separation between them impossible, either in life or death. Eve being in Adam when the law was given, received that law and was as much accountable to the law as was Adam. When she, therefore, ate of the forbidden fruit she transgressed the law. The unity between Adam and Eve, his wife, was so complete that her sin was his sin, and had not Adam partaken of the fruit personally he would have been responsible for her sin and one with her in the transgression. The union between Adam and his posterity was such that his sin was their sin, or, in other words, when he transgressed all his children transgressed in him and all were under the same curse. Adam and Eve were one in creation, one in formation, one in life, one in receiving the law, one in transgression and one in death, hence the figure of Him that was to come. God, the eternal Spirit, had chosen in Christ his people, or bride, before the world began, unto salvation, that they should live with him in glory, rather than in Eden. The choice of God, of his people in Christ, thus giving them to Christ in union, to be his bride, made them one. In order that the world be peopled and the choice of God be manifested, the creation of Adam and Eve was necessary. In order that those ordained unto eternal life be saved and become manifestly the sons and daughters of God, sin must enter the world and death by sin. Hence the law was given, temptation came, the law was transgressed and in consequence the bride, or God's chosen people in Christ, were condemned and became the children of wrath, by nature, even as others.
These things are all links in that endless chain mentioned already. The unity of Christ and the church (bride) as between Adam and Eve, was so complete, inseparable, that her sin was his sin, though he personally sinned not, and was responsible to the law for her debt. This we have shown in “the figure,” that had Adam not partaken of the fruit himself, he would have been responsible for the sin of Eve. The law demanded perfect satisfaction for the transgression. That satisfaction meant perfect obedience to the law, even unto death. Adam transgressed and brought death to his race, or children; Christ was obedient even unto death, the death of the cross, and brought life and immortality to the chosen of God. He was made of a woman and made under the law of sin and death, to redeem them that were under the same law. In the coming of Christ the love of God was made manifest, yes, love to sinners, not because they were sinners, but because he loved them in Christ before the world began, and his love changed not when they were dead in trespasses and sins. Inasmuch as the children of God were sinners, the law demanded the life of Christ, the husband. Paul, in speaking of the unity of Christ and the church, calls attention to the union of husband and wife, the two being one, then adds, This is a great mystery, but I speak of Christ and the church. We are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones. At the appointed time of the Father, Jesus came to do the will of him that sent him, and that will was that of all which he had given him he should lose nothing, but raise it up again at the last day. Therefore because of the unity of Christ and the church, and in obedience to the law, Jesus died upon the cross, paid the debt his bride owed to both law and justice with his own life, or blood, was buried and arose for their justification, and presented them without spot, blemish, wrinkle or any such thing to God the Father. “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” It was his obligation as the husband of the church, it was the Father's purpose, plan and will. Inasmuch therefore as it was according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, the whole church must answer his question and say, Yes, Christ ought to have suffered and to enter into his glory. The church is the glory of Christ, and in the midst of her he sings praises to God for the gift and for the purpose he purposed in himself before the world was, that through his blood she should be holy and without blame before the Father in love. These glorious matters of redemption were not revealed to Moses, the Israelites and their children, but were secret things known to God in that age of the world. They had the law, and legal things were revealed that they should do all the works of that law, but the redeemed bride has the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It was because the old covenant did not have and reveal gospel things that the disciples were fools and slow of heart to believe what the Scriptures declared, in prophecy, of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. The term “fools” means without understanding. After saying these things to them, Jesus began with Moses and opened the Scriptures, which had been hid from the beginning, to their understanding. In this he made darkness light, crooked things straight and rough places smooth.
Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways. How good it is to see the life-standing of the Lord's people in Christ, while in Adam they die.