The Last Adam - a Quickening Spirit

John 20:2‑23  •  9 min. read  •  grade level: 6
In the twentieth chapter of John’s Gospel we find the Lord Jesus, in resurrection, consummating all the previous chapters of the Gospel.
He is here making known His resurrection, and the power of it in the midst of the congregation. He is standing in the solitude of resurrection; a solitary Man risen from is among the dead. Alone! There is none other such as He. He is fulfilling the 22nd verse of the 22nd Psalm. All the waves and billows of God’s mighty judgment on sin have exhausted their strength on Him. He has endured them in His soul. He is here as having come out from under this judgment which none but He could have risen out of. He has borne the judgment of God upon man, and now stands in the midst of His disciples, and is making known His resurrection, and setting forth the results of His victory in the congregation—consummating all He had declared in the previous chapters of this gospel.
He is standing above the ruin of the first man on the landing of resurrection. Let us see how He reached it. We must look at Him in other solitudes ere He reached it.
The world, as God made it, was ruined by man he was the last thing made. The world is involved in the ruin which came in through man. Man filled it with corruption and violence, and God shrouded it in the judgment of the mighty waters of the flood. (Gen. 6-8) Who is to repair the ruin? Who is to redeem it? Christ, the Son of God comes in, to “make all things new.” The heavens and the earth were the first thing which God had made in the beginning. Now He begins the new creation with man.
He becomes a babe in a manger-touches the weakest point of humanity— “a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2) He spends thirty years of His life in retirement, and then enters His ministry as God’s Servant in the midst of a world of sin. Satan then comes to oppose Him. —(Luke 4)—and He overcomes Satan as God’s servant, and Satan owns Him as Son of God—(ver. 41). For three years he walks in this solitude of power as the Servant, declarative of God. “The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father” declares Him. It is God exhibited in a world of woe. The poor, and the wretched, the sinful, and the vile, find in Him a relief from every burden, every sin; and yet he puts forth no power for Himself. The poor, and the vile ones of the earth, find in Him the heart of God. In all this He is in the midst of men, in a distinct solitude, all through. Not the Saviour yet, but the Servant; and so perfectly this, that at the end of His pathway He can say— “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:99Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? (John 14:9).)
His hour then comes that He must depart out of this world to be with the Father. (John 13) When His hour was come, He enters another solitude, but it is the solitude of misery suffering. He says, as it were, “I’ll now go where I’ll be the victim.” He had been in the solitude of power, anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power, declarative of God, up to this now, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24).) There, He accepts all that God’s mighty judgment required against the first man—all that His righteousness demanded, to put an end to the offending thing forever. Satan opposes Him in this, as formerly he had opposed Him as God’s Servant. He now opposes Him as the sacrifice—the Saviour. The Lord accepts the place of victim. He says, “Father, if thou be willing remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” (Luke 22:4242Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (Luke 22:42).) It was a solitude of suffering in which He sought for comforters and found none. They who had followed Him in the time of His ministry, now “all forsook him and fled.” They say, as it were, “We are mistaken in the man.” None could be with Him now. He was left alone. Yet not alone, He says, for the Father is with me. Judas intrudes upon’ this mighty solitude with a betrayer’s kiss; and Jesus says, “Good for that man if he had not been born.” All combine then and bear down against Him. The world —Satan —religion —all! One of His disciples, too, denies Him to the enemy. He accepts it from the hand of God. He hid not His face from shame and spitting. He comes charged with this cup to the Cross. There He bears the judgment of the sinner from God, and is forsaken of Him. He says, “My God, my God, why halt Thou forsaken me!” He consummates the work by His death. He goes down into death, under which the sinner lay; but rises out of that place, and we find him in John 20 in the magnificence of His victory. A solitary Man, risen from among the dead. Every enemy gone—occupied in dispensing the spoils of e His victory! dispensing His blessings as the Risen One! He had been in the solitude of power—manifesting God. In the solitude of suffering in which he drained the cup of God’s judgment on man. He is now in the solitude of the resurrection, making good in others the blessings of the victory He had achieved, saying, as it were, “I will now make it all true in you.” “Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God.”
He does two things, as the Risen One—He pronounces “peace.” What does peace mean? It is peace on the other side of judgment. Many have a spurious peace—a satisfied feeling in their own hearts,—which will some day pass away. Peace means that there is no hostile element that can ever rise again between the soul of the believer and God. Not peace, because of victories, nor midst enemies, but peace because of their overthrow—their destruction. Like Israel on the shores of the Red Sea, singing the song of triumph after their enemies were drowned in the depths of the sea:— “The Lord hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.” This was the chorus of their song, of triumph. Their enemies were defeated and destroyed. The Egyptians which they had seen, they should see again no more forever. They were drowned in the depths of the sea. They sank unto the bottom as a stone. They sank as lead in the mighty waters. Every hostile element was gone; to rise up against them no more forever! Can you say you possess this Peace with God! It is the Peace which Christ pronounces, after He had risen out of the waters of judgment. He dispenses it to His people as the Risen One, pronouncing “Peace.” All your enemies are gone—it is what belongs to you as the new race of which He is the Head—the new creation of God. The old race (the first man) is judicially ended before the eye of the Judge. His righteousness demanded the end of the first Adam race—that His love might, without check or hindrance flow out to those who believe. Everyone in Christ is a new creation.
He now does another thing. You will find that the general desire is to get Peace with God, so as to go on with an unburdened conscience in the world—the scene you are in: God does not stop there. This is why the people like to hear of the forgiveness of sins, and peace, and stop there; because this makes no demand upon them. But Christ does not stop after He has pronounced peace. You must now get the life of the Person who has given you peace (He is our peace), the life of the Person who bore the judgment, and triumphed over death. And so “He breathed on them,” —imparting to them His own life.
The Lord God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul; (Gen. 2) but man fell, and this life was forfeited, and under judgment. Here Jesus Christ “The last Adam—a quickening Spirit,” (1 Cor. 15:4545And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)) after bearing judgment, and abolishing death, comes forth and breathes upon them, imparting His own life eternal life which makes you free from the law of sin and death. But it connects you with Him who has gone out of this scene altogether who has no connection with it whatsoever. He is the life of him who believes consequently it connects the believing one with the place where He is, with the Father. “Your life is hid with Christ in God;” therefore He adds, “Seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” (Col. 3:11If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1).) How then can I connect myself with the place, and the things out of which He has risen? If I have life in Him, and Him for my life, this life will assert its own qualities, and overcome the world. He that “is born of God, overcometh the world” (1 John 5.); rising above the storms, and disturbing elements of flesh and nature, and all out of which Christ has-risen, it seeks its own native element springing up into everlasting life. Seeking the level from which it came. The eternal life was with the Father—was manifested to us in the Son—and is now communicated to us by the Holy Ghost. It is thus a well of water—not a stagnant pool—but a springing well, seeking, like water, its own level, and springing up into everlasting life. Like the Frigate bird, which, we are told, when the storms agitate the surface of the ocean, when winds and waves rage in contempt of life on every side, rises aloft into the calm above the storms, and floats securely and tranquilly in that peaceful atmosphere, where it finds itself at home and at rest!
The reason why the saints of God do not enjoy this cloudless peace is, that they are engaging their hearts with the things of earth, and cultivating the nature out of which Christ, their life, has risen; and not cultivating the pursuits, and aims, and interests of that eternal life which is theirs in Christ
The Lord lead our hearts into the heavenly atmosphere-the proper element in which this life which He has bestowed puts forth its leaves and fruit; and grant that His beloved people may walk in the vigor and power of that word, “Christ in me,” through a world where every breath is against them; for His name’s sake. Amen.