And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. Genesis 2:25-3:7 ESV
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Romans 5:15-17 ESV
Have you ever thrown a stone into a pond? It might have been just a small pebble, falling into the water with the tiniest splash. But the ripples from the splash soon spread in circles far away from where the pebble fell in. The little waves might have reached all the way to the edge of the pond.
When the man and woman disobeyed God and ate from the tree, it was like the ripple of a pebble falling into a pond. It seemed like such a small thing. But everything changed in God’s creation. Nature was no longer in perfect order. People’s relationships with each other became selfish and angry. People were no longer at peace inside themselves. People’s bodies began to experience pain and sickness. Most of all, the man and the woman were no longer at peace with God. They were afraid. The end result of all this is death. Sin brought death into the world, and nothing has ever been the same.
Many years later Jesus came into this world and died on the cross. To many people it might have seemed like just a little thing. What was one death among so many people throughout the ages who die? But Jesus’ death was like another pebble-splash in a pond that changed everything. Faith in Jesus brings us back to peace with God, and in our life with God he begins the process of healing the problems of sin in our lives. Someday we will know freedom from pain and death, all because of what Jesus did for us.
Dear Jesus, thank you for dying for us so that we can know peace with God and can look forward to living with you forever. Amen.