I had a weird experience today.
I was deep-diving into some Biblical texts, reviewing theological histories about subjects, and generally having a great time bending my mind around what I was learning.
Part of my study was a reflection of Adam. We have missed a valuable part of the Adam story, because we fixate on blame: “Adam, man, if you hadn’t disobeyed… (In essence, dude, this is your fault).
In my reading of Romans 7, a part of which can easily be interpreted as Adam’s actual experience, I read, “Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life (like a serpent striking), and I died…For sin, seizing the opportunity, deceived me…and put me to death.”
I started weeping. Something bypassed my mental gymnastics and went straight into my spirit. I have never stopped to feel Adam’s loss. Yet, this passage, inspired by God, gives us a glimpse into Adam’s heart. Yes, guilt. Yes, hiding. But the defeat, the loss, the utter destruction of sin on his soul. He had it all. And then he didn’t. And he knew it: “I was alive. I was deceived. I died.”
Then I thought of my own sin. I know it is forgiven. I know that God does not call it into the present and hold me accountable to it. But sometimes, I see more clearly, upon reflection, the sinfulness of sin. All that I had, that I deemed not good enough, and chased after what is rightly forbidden, what isn’t really life….
I’m not alone. You and I know sin. Yet, I can still easily assess blame on the fallen and not embrace the deep loss they have suffered. Adam was banished from the garden. We watch him walk away. We don’t stop to think what he is experiencing, just like we do with so many who sin. They will one day realize the wreckage of sin on their life. They shouldn’t be alone when they do.
We are not called to just watch a person walk away. We are called to “show a person their fault” because we are called to show them their freedom.
“There is, now, no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” That’s Romans 8. That’s good news. Then the chapter talks about a whole new life, one by the Spirit, who gives life, and who empowers us to overcome the sin that seeks to strike.
I hurt for Adam. I hurt for me and for you and for all deceived; I hurt to the point of needing to do something about it because Jesus did one big thing about it: He, too, sprang to life.