“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
It happened so fast. They were, so it seemed, on the threshold of power and glory that would far exceed their Garden existence. They would be like God. So it seemed. In truth, their sin distorted the image of God that Adam and Eve bore. Not only did divinity elude them, they found themselves cursed by Divinity Himself. Their stewardship of God’s paradise was stripped from them; Adam’s was sentenced to exhausting toil among thorns and thistles in the service of physical survival. Even that was vanity: their days were now numbered.
Genesis 3 is often given the heading, “The Fall of Man.” Adam fell long and hard, spending the rest of his earthly days under the curse. Of course, that curse afflicts millions – or billions – even today. Though they are made in His image, the “breath of life” of Genesis 2 is absent and they travel the path toward dust.
Praise God that He is not content to lose the crown of His creation to the curse of death! He sent His son, Jesus to secure our redemption. Luke 9:51 tells us: “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” After three years of teaching, healing and delivering, Jesus Christ, the second Adam, would not break faith as the first Adam did, but would obey to the very last breath. On the cross, He would win back what Adam lost.
During the Advent season, we were proclaiming this as we sang “Joy to the World” and its powerful third verse:
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.
Yes, we can find the curse in our daily comings and goings. We have our own thorns and thistles with which to contend. Yet in the scope of eternity, our present troubles will be meaningless and forgotten because of Jesus Christ, his atoning death and victorious resurrection. An ancient hymn called “Lift High the Cross” reminds us:
Saved by this Cross whereon their Lord was slain,
the sons of Adam their lost home regain.
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his sacred Name.
As we commence the 40 days of Lent, we remember the most dreadful curse…and the One who removed it.
The GRC Children’s Ministry is also providing a family Lenten Devotional which is available here.
Note: Each day’s devotional is written by a different member of the GRC family.