In his letter to the church in Corinth, Rabbi Sha'ul (the apostle Paul) addressed the very Jewish concept of the resurrection of the dead. In verse 1 he reminded his audience of the Good News that he proclaimed to them. I like the fact that he connected the Good News to the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) which is a wonderful reminder to us that the Good News is not a New Testament concept. He also connected the resurrection to the Good News since both are inextricably linked. If Yeshua had not been raised from the dead then our faith would be in vain.
Rabbi Sha'ul further underscored His point by making reference to First fruits, celebrated during Passover, because it was a prophetic picture of Yeshua's resurrection. The point he was making was that if Yeshua died and was resurrected as a kind of "firstfruits" unto God, then those who put their trust in Him would also be raised from the dead.
In verse 45 the apostle made reference to the first and second Adam. It is worthy to note that the apostle was referencing an ancient Jewish literature that states that the second or heavenly Adam was in reference to the Spirit of Messiah. The Sages taught that earth was a reflection of heaven, therefore if there was an earthly Adam, there had to be a heavenly Adam, in whose image the first Adam was made. As a Pharisee, Sha'ul would have had first hand knowledge of this. the passage reads:
"So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man." ( 1 Cor. 15: 45-49)
The first Adam was formed from the earth. He and wife Eve disobeyed ADONAI's commandment and ate from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. As a result, all of humanity had sin imputed or transferred to them. The Scriptures teach us that "through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin". Through Adam all are subject to sin and ultimately death.
However, the second Adam, Yeshua, is a life giving Spirit, meaning He is not from this world but from heaven. As the first Adam imputed sin and death to humanity, the second Adam imputes His Image to all who believe. Those who trust in Yeshua have an awesome hope of a new beginning, for as the Scriptures say "therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature: The old has gone, the new is here! ( 2 Corinthian 5:17) I believe this is a great reminder to begin this new season!