In an interesting post from a book I want to read, the point is made that Christ is actually in a true sense the first human. That the goal was never “in Adam,” but “in Christ.”
The story as known and told in most of our circles might seem to indicate otherwise. God’s goal in that telling is seen in Eden. The possibilities were there, but Adam (and Eve) blew it. Only then Christ has to step into the picture and through his atoning death in terms of penal substitution save the day.
But, as the post notes, early church fathers saw it otherwise from the story found in scripture. It is Christ who is the central figure in creation always (see the book of Colossians), not Adam. The entire goal from the outset was the new creation in Christ. Christ’s incarnation and atoning death bringing humans and indeed all of the old, original creation to its intended climactic flourishing was God’s will from the get go. Death in Adam is indeed an important part of the story, but life in Christ through his death ending death is at the heart of the new creation. And so the old creation was never intended to be the end all, but the means we might say to bring in the new creation in and through Christ.