Adam as Head of the Family
It is common for hierarchists to say that Adam was Eve’s head not because he was her source, but because he had authority over her. While the teaching that Adam was Eve’s ruler before the fall of man is unsubstantiated, the fact that Adam was the source of Eve is foundational to the doctrine of the kinsman redeemer.
Let’s see if we can draw out the important connection regarding Adam’s headship and the new head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ. Adam was the first human creation and from his body, Eve was created.
The fact that Eve was created from Adam’s body and that he was the source of her flesh-and-bone-body is highly important because of what happened next. Although Eve was deceived and she sinned because of her deception, Adam sinned willfully without being deceived. Adam sinned with full knowledge of what he was doing. Adam was charged with bringing sin into the world. The following diagram shows how Adam’s blood line was tainted with sin.
The Redeemer from the woman
God, however, prophesied that the Redeemer, the Messiah, would come from the woman. It is vital that the seed of the woman alone would produce the Messiah because of the inherited sin nature that comes through the man. The diagram below shows that the Messiah is produced from a virgin woman.
Each one of us has inherited a sin nature because each one of us has our blood line through Adam after his fall. This sin nature comes through to every one who is born from a natural father. This includes the Virgin Mary because she too had a human father.
Adam as source
Adam as head of the human race was the source of our human sin nature. Jesus as the second Adam was the source of our salvation. But Jesus’ human nature had to be sin-free in two ways. He had to have committed no sin himself, plus he had to be born without the fallen human sin nature. By being born of a virgin, and by living a sinless life, he qualified to be the sin bearer for us all. Jesus as the second Adam also had to be a direct descendant of Adam. Jesus was the seed of the woman back to Eve.
Since Eve was created from the side of Adam, Jesus’ line of humanity came through the woman back to Adam from before the time that Adam sinned. Because Eve was taken from Adam before Adam sinned, the Messiah can now be traced back to the first Adam before sin entered the world. In this way Jesus was a descendant of Adam but without the stain of original sin.
Eve’s connection to Adam
This is why it is so important that Eve was taken from the man. Think of it this way. If Eve had been created at the same time as Adam and if she had been created from the dirt the same as Adam was created, then she would not be from his body. If Eve had not been taken from Adam’s body, and formed into a woman, she would have a completely different origin – a separate humanity. Jesus’ humanity would then end with Eve and there would be no physical connection to Adam before Adam sinned.
But because Adam was Eve’s source, Jesus’ line of human descendants went back to the original condition of the sinless Adam. Adam was the head of the human race because all humans came through him. All humans born through Adam’s seed are from his sinful line and all are in need of salvation. Jesus is the last Adam and all born-again humans who have come to saving faith through Jesus have their eternal life source in Jesus.
Source of Salvation
Adam’s headship has everything to do with the source of sin, the source of our sinful humanity. Jesus’ headship is also about his being the source. Jesus is the source of our salvation. Adam’s headship is not his authority over others. What authority does he have? Headship is not about authority but about source. Adam is the source of all of humanity. Jesus, the God-man, is the ultimate source of salvation.
When we deny that head means source, and we say it means authority, we are hiding the importance of the source of humanity coming through the man. Adam as our source of our humanity brings us separation from God because of inherited sin. Jesus as the second Adam is our source of eternal life and a restored fellowship with God.