Have you ever watched a two-year-old trying to get a beloved toy back from a sibling or play-date buddy? Violence. Who taught a two-year-old to forcefully grab the toy, bite the kid, shove her sister, and lord over her victim when she already has a fake cupcake from the miniature kitchen (never mind that there are five other identical cupcakes strewn about on the floor)? Or, who taught your four-year-old niece to blame her aunt who lives 180 miles away when confronted about the “Big Apple Red” nail polish streaking up and down the bathroom walls? Children reveal the worst kept secret about humanity—we all have a propensity to lie, cheat, steal, and harm. But why?
Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.
eden has fallen
Yesterday we realized the very good news of the Trinity’s love for us and our role and responsibility to be like God—just, good, loving, kind. What happened? God never forces love, so when he made humanity, he gave us the choice to love him in return. Part of our love for God gets expressed through our obedience to God. Adam and Eve faced the choice to obey God’s command—eat whatever you want, the whole garden is yours, abundance and goodness at your fingertips, but don’t eat from this one tree—or to disobey and listen to the voice of another. In God’s good creation humans sat atop the created order, but now Adam and Eve chose to put themselves under the influence of the serpent. They were meant to rule, not succumb. In a moment of arrogance, weakness, and confusion, our first parents doubted God and listened to the voice of a liar. Cosmic terrorism broke into God’s perfect creation and everything felt the effects of sin. Everything.
the consequences of sin
Lions no longer lounge with lambs—they hunt. Trees no longer easily produce fruit—they labor. The sun no longer warms our bodies—it scorches. And humans no longer enjoy unhindered fellowship with God—we suffer. The effects of Adam and Eve’s rebellion reverberated from Eden and reached the farthest galaxy and penetrated the smallest atom. Sin broke everything. One of the far-reaching effects of sin gets passed down through every umbilical cord. Our first parents’ rebellion altered our DNA, and now every human is born with the propensity to do great harm and is born into a world that testifies to this truth. A full picture of the gospel recognizes that we need saving from the cosmic brokenness that was inaugurated in the garden.
The gospel declares the good news that someday we will return to Eden, lions will lounge with lambs, trees will freely feed us, the sun will tickle our skin with warmth, and we will walk with God.
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Have you considered the far-reaching effects of sin created by Adam and Eve’s rebellion? How do you see this play out in your own life and in the world around you?
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