The Bangolan people in Cameroon say a parent should punish a rebellious child with the left hand and draw him or her closer with the right hand. In the same way, when Adam and Eve rebelled against God, God announced the devastating consequences, but he also gave them a promise (Genesis 3:1-24).
Humans’ rebellion broke our relationships with God, one another, and the environment. Rejection of God’s commands, ethnic clashes, and natural disasters all result from these broken relationships. All of God’s beautiful creation has been damaged. Every human being is now born with a tendency to sin (Romans 5:12). Until God remakes his broken world, we cannot be free from pain, physical suffering, and death.
But the curse of the Fall also came with the first promise of God’s Messiah. When Eve, “the mother of all who live” (Genesis 3:20), and Adam disobeyed God, they were the first to taste sin and death. But God promised that the offspring of the woman would strike the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). Mary, the mother of Jesus, would fulfil that prophecy.
God would graciously send Jesus to destroy the work of the serpent and to reverse the curse. Jesus would restore our relationship with God and make us righteous in his sight, just as Adam and Eve had been before the Fall (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Jews waited for hundreds of years, watching for the Messiah who would fulfil this promise. Today, all Christians are waiting for the day when Jesus returns to remake the world and restore everything. While we wait, we should also join with Jesus in reconciling people to God, people to each other, and people to the world God made.
Examine your relationships with God, other people, and the environment. What areas of these relationships are damaged? Thank Jesus for conquering sin and ask him to help you reconcile. What one specific step could you take to begin repairing these relationships?
Plan images licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.
Cropped and text overlay added from the original The birth of Jesus with shepherds by JESUS MAFA, from , a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved November 2, 2018]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr.