One failed and brought death on all His descendants. The other was faithful, bringing life through His death and resurrection.
And if we take the time to read Scripture more carefully, we see how deeply the parallels run. The ways in which Jesus is similar to, and yet better than Adam, are astonishing:
The first Adam yielded to temptation in a garden. The Last Adam beat temptation in a garden. The first man, Adam, sought to become like God. The Last Adam was God who became a man. The first Adam was naked and received clothes. The Last Adam had clothes but was stripped. The first Adam tasted death from a tree. The Last Adam tasted death on a tree. The first Adam hid from the face of God, while the Last Adam begged God not to hide His face.
The first Adam blamed his bride, while the Last Adam took the blame for His bride. The first Adam earned thorns. The Last Adam wore thorns. The first Adam gained a wife when God opened man’s side, but the Last Adam gained a wife when man opened God’s side. The first Adam brought a curse. The Last Adam became a curse. While the first Adam fell by listening when the Serpent said “take and eat,” the Last Adam told His followers, “take and eat, this is my body.”
We celebrate this last event today—Jesus’ final meal with His Disciples, and His new command that we “love one another.” In giving Christians this meal, He sealed His role as Adam’s replacement.