Romans 5:12 – 19
A Matter of Life and Death
Let me start with this icebreaker. If I could eliminate (_fill in the blank_) my life would be awesome.
So many things suck the life out of us. It is seldom that we feel that we are really living. God meant for life to be much more than mere existence and we know this truth deep down. Abundant life is what we long for and were created for. Here is the good news of Jesus. He said ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’(John 10:10) Those words are a powerful expression of the gospel, the good news that life has overcome death, that life shall reign and no longer death. This is the message of Paul to the Romans, in Jesus there is Life. In Adam there is death, physical and spiritual. But in Jesus Life reigns! Life here and now and in the age to come.
Paul is painting a stark contrast between Adam and Jesus. Adam, the head of the old humanity, introduces sin and death through his failure and disobedience. Jesus, God with us, bringing life and light to a dead and dark world. The contrast couldn’t be any clearer. It’s a matter of life and death.
We all have experienced and seen the devastating consequences of sin and death. Sons and daughters of Adam and Eve are no strangers to the brokenness of this world. In ourselves and in others we see the undeniable evidence of original sin. We are bent towards sin and we struggle with it. This broken gene has been passed on from generation to generation, until… Jesus came. Original sin is the ‘Adamic Bomb’ so to speak, that has brought about the devastation of God’s good creation. The scope of its destruction is pervasive and inescapable. We all have participated in this destruction by our own choices and actions. Original sin means that when we sin we are being original. However this is not the original plan according to God’s design and intent for creatures made in his own image.
Think about it…
Adam and Eve had it all. Everything they could have asked or wanted, they had it. Except for one thing. They exchanged everything for that one thing. They exchanged God’s knowledge for the knowledge of good and evil. That one thing came to be the thing. The thing that resulted in all kinds of things. Mainly death. Evil. Envy. Violence. Hate…
That’s the thing, since then it’s been all downhill. Adam is bad news! We are bad news!
Jesus, on the other hand was tempted in the dessert, starving to death. A place where even the rocks looked delicious. In the dessert he was tempted and tried, but never gave in. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus once again was tempted to the point where he sweat blood. Three times he agreed to drink the cup of wrath for you and me. On the cross, on that black Friday, he bled to death and breathed his last to pay the penalty of sin. On that Sunday He rose victorious over death and defeated our enemy.
Jesus is good news! In Jesus there is life and righteousness. Oh, if it wasn’t for Jesus…we would be stuck with Adam.
It has been said before but I’ll say it again. In Genesis, God began his creation with the heavens and the earth and concluded it with Adam and Eve. In Jesus, God began his new creation, this time He began with the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve and will conclude with the new heavens and the new earth. Folks, that’s good news!