Of course it also surpasses and replaces it. All I’m about to say below simply boils down the fact that Jesus is the New Adam.
When Jesus created Adam and Eve ….
(We know from Scripture that the person Adam and Eve interacted with most directly was the second person of the Trinity and we have every reason to believe from the context of Genesis to Judges that “Elohim” designates a human-like theophany. Adam came to consciousness receiving mouth to nose resuscitation.)
So, as I was saying, when Jesus created Adam and Eve, he created them in a relationship with himself–a relationship called a covenant. Even though this word is not used explicitly, we know that this is what happened because when Scripture clearly shows the establishment of new relationships that are supposed to hearken back to this first one, we see him using just this word. Genesis 8-9, for instance, show Noah as a new Adam and declare this relationship to be a covenant. (Another argument could be that the renewal and/or establishments of new covenants are treated as the beginnings of new creations, while the breaking of a covenant is described as the end of creation. But I’m not going to pursue that line of argumentation right now).
Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and obedient. Their disobedience is described as unbelief–a lack of faith in God and his Word. They were commanded to spread over the globe.
When Jesus comes he is explicitly declared a new Adam, a “son of God,” in Luke’s use of the term (Luke 3.21-38). (“Son” can be a title that can imply the full doctrine of the Second Person of the Trinity, but not always).
Jesus is a new Adam in a New Covenant which is a New Creation. But as a New Creation, it republishes much of what was originally given.
- Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and so are believers (John 15).
- Adam and Eve were warned of death if they departed from the original covenant and death and worse will result for those who depart from the New Covenant.
- Adam and Eve were told to subdue the earth and the members of the New Covenant are commanded to bring the nations into obedience to Christ (Matthew 28.18-20).
- Adam and Eve were supposed to continue in obedence and obedience to Jesus is emphasized in the New Covenant (Matthew 28.18-20).
- Conversion to the New Covenant can be and is in Scripture described as a positive response to a call to New Obedience (for example, Romans 6.17).
A lot more could be listed.
Of course, one reason why some readers of the NT may miss this relationship is that there is a lot explicitly said about the Gospel as a new and better covenant along the lines of God’s covenant through Moses. The Church is compared with the Temple and the Tabernacle, for example. But this is not a contradictory line. I the Biblical History, God’s covenant with Moses was a repulication, a re-creation, of the original covenant with Adam. Indeed, the Tabernacle is a new sanctuary along the lines of the Garden of Eden. In fact, the whole Mosaic system which establishes a special sanctuary of a special land in the world is a recovery (as well as glorification) of the geography laid out for us in Genesis 2.
Of course, while I haven’t listed all the points of continuity, neither have I pointed out all the differences. The main one would be that, before sin, there was no need for a covenant that provided forgiveness. For Adam and Eve faith resulted in sinless obedience. That’s not the case with us, though faith does mean, and the New Covenant does required, a changed life.
Interested in the Bible? Buy Mark’s books!
The Victory According to Mark: An Exposition of the Second Gospel
Why Baptize Babies: An Explanation for the Theology and Practice of the Reformed Churches