“If because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man,
much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the
free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17
I did not intend to steer the topic towards Holy Week, but here I am. Here we have two comparisons that seem to me to be polar opposites. Heck, I don’t even know that one can say these are polar because that would mean they are on the same planet! I guess this is what I was talking about yesterday. Sin is a far bigger deal than we can imagine. In this verse, we see all sin of the world funneled through what? One man. Adam. That’s a lot for scripture to place on one man’s head. Really, you are I are just as responsible for our own sin as Adam was for his. Yet how often do we consider our own sin lives in the lives of those we touch – for countless generations to come? Indeed, people were (and are) influenced by my sin. I cringe at the idea of how this all plays out.
Do you think we can be held responsible for another man’s sin? I think there are couple verses to consider.
Deuteronomy 24:16 “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.”
Joshua 7:11 Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings.
In Joshua, it was one man, Achan, who took plunder against the orders of God, yet God says that Israel sinned. One the one hand, each is on his own; and on the other, it is collective. We can dissect that for a long time, I suppose. Suffice it for now that the sin of the entire world entered through one man.
On the other hand, something quite different entered through another man, Jesus Christ. How? This man was not like Adam. Not only was he different, what he did was completely different, too.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We may need another one to expand on this.
Philippians 2:5-11 Have this in mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Here’s the deal. As far as I can tell, Adam was no different that I am. I am quite sure if I had been the first human, we would be talking about how death reigned through one man – Scott. All of us would have been Adam if we had drawn that straw. On the other hand, none of us could have filled the shoes of Jesus. I’m not talking about dying on a cross, because thousands have already done that. No, I’m talking about obedience to God.
Look, we all know that Jesus was in the desert 40 days and 40 nights, fasting, when Satan came to tempt him. But, I think Jesus’ biggest temptation was to avoid the cross. Remember, the cross was a human device for human flesh. Jesus ALSO bore the full wrath of God for the sins of the world. Might have he had a way out during his prayer in the garden? What if he didn’t say, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done?” In any case, Jesus was obedient. He knew the plan from the beginning and was obedient. That’s a big difference between him and us.
I’m going to be honest with you. Sometimes I really have a hard time wrapping my head around Jesus. How can all these things be? When I share the gospel, often all I can say to describe him is something along the lines that Jesus is God’s man. I don’t know why he did it this way, but he did. There is much more to this man, Jesus, than any of us know. What I do know is that God says we are to believe in him and listen to him.
Otherwise, I feel more like Paul, even though I have been a believer for almost twelve years now.
“Who are you, Lord?”
Father, show me the Son. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers