Standing in the Way

It can be amazing the influence one person can have on someone else’s life.   Someone can be saved from themselves, or led entirely astray by one persons actions in their life.

Romans 5:12-19 (CEV)

Adam and Christ

12 Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die. 13 Sin was in the world before the Law came. But no record of sin was kept, because there was no Law. 14 Yet death still had power over all who lived from the time of Adam to the time of Moses. This happened, though not everyone disobeyed a direct command from God, as Adam did.

In some ways Adam is like Christ who came later. 15 But the gift that God was kind enough to give was very different from Adam’s sin. That one sin brought death to many others. Yet in an even greater way, Jesus Christ alone brought God’s gift of kindness to many people.

16 There is a lot of difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gift. That one sin led to punishment. But God’s gift made it possible for us to be acceptable to him, even though we have sinned many times. 17 Death ruled like a king because Adam had sinned. But that cannot compare with what Jesus Christ has done. God has been so kind to us, and he has accepted us because of Jesus. And so we will live and rule like kings.

18 Everyone was going to be punished because Adam sinned. But because of the good thing that Christ has done, God accepts us and gives us the gift of life. 19 Adam disobeyed God and caused many others to be sinners. But Jesus obeyed him and will make many people acceptable to God.

If we look at all the things we have got wrong, collectively and individually, then it would be fair to say that humanity is going to the dogs – or perhaps more appropriately going to hell in a handcart.  Basically and fundamentally, we are stuffed, in trouble.  As we read the action of one man and one woman, we see human beings stepping away from God’s intention and making the world something it was never meant to be – including going against God’s instructions.

God tried again to show his people what he wanted of them, the best ways to live – and that didn’t go any better.  Still people thought that it didn’t matter or that they knew better.  Some people got it, but generally, it was all going very wrong.

The actions of one man (and one woman), brought to the world the possibility of sin, disobeying God, and from that moment on every person who followed seized on it.

The total opposite of this was Jesus.  He was the one person who has ever managed to live out God’s instructions, because he understands them from the inside, he was part of their making.  He came to reverse what Adam did.  As Adam alone opened up the possibilities of evil, Jesus alone came to do away with the consequences.

We continue to get many things wrong, but Jesus continues to deal with that.  Jesus brings life and forgiveness to all who realise where they are and what they have done, and turn to him.  As Adam’s obedience made humanity unacceptable, so Jesus’ obedience makes us acceptable again.

This is quite complex to get our heads around (well mine anyway), but the bottom line is, Jesus brings the possibility of everything being OK.  He is making everything alright with God for us.  Like someone who comes along and pays a bill we can’t afford, or points us to the right road when we are lost.  Basically Jesus saves us – from ourselves, from our actions, when we get caught up in other people’s behaviour; he stands before God with us and vouches for us.  He gets rid of the things that stand in our way, if only we will let him.

Lord,
I have got so much wrong.

But I thank you
that Jesus got everything right.

Thank you
that can make a difference in my life,
that because of him
you accept me.

I come asking for forgiveness
and seeking your life,
for I know
that is the only way to live

And that makes me want to sing of such wonderful love

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