Adam, Christ, and Culture
In his influential work, The Unfolding Mystery, Edmund Clowney clearly presents the relationship between Adam’s task in the Garden of Eden and Christ’s redemptive work:
The command to Adam and Eve was to rule over the earth. Adam’s rule is now exercised by Christ. As so often in the work of salvation, the fulfillment far outstrips the expectations that are aroused by the promise. Christ exercises a dominion far greater than that given to Adam. He is the Lord, not only of this planet, but of the cosmos…Jesus also accomplishes the command to Adam that he fill the earth. Paul uses the term filling as well as dominion to describe the present Lordship of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:20-23; 4:10). Jesus does not simply come to rescue man from the depths of his loss. He comes to accomplish for us the calling of our humanity. His is the perfect and final dominion of man over the cosmos. Christ, the second Adam, can say, “Here I am, and the children God has given me” (Heb. 2:13; Is. 8:17f). A great multitude that no man can number are gathered from every tribe and people in the name of Jesus. He who fill all things with his power assembles the fullness of Israel and the fullness of the nations in the day of his glory (Rom. 11:12, 25, Rev. 7:9). His accomplishment of Adam’s calling does not make our service vain. To the contrary only because he has fulfilled man’s calling can all work be made in meaningful, for our fellowship is with him. His victory is our hope. In humility, not arrogance, we receive from the victorious Lord a renewed calling to do his will to this world.
For more see: