For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Romans 5:17)
Kids love balloons. They’re round and light. They’re colorful and they float! They help celebrate special occasions. And if you rub them on your hair you can use the static electricity to stick them to other things or other people. And yet they’re so fragile. All it takes is one tiny little prick and POP! The balloon is worthless and can’t be repaired. It’s just dead.
That picture of a popped balloon is a good one for describing what sin did to mankind’s perfection. One little sin and poof! Perfection and holiness gone. Paul talks about this here in Romans.
God had placed Adam into a perfect world and called on him to worship the Lord his God and serve him only. But Adam did not. He worshipped himself and ate the forbidden fruit. By his actions Adam burst the perfection of God’s world and plunged the world into an age of darkness and death. Before that day, man’s destiny had been life eternal with God in glory, but death came rushing in the vacuum left behind when holiness and peace vanished. Everything changed that day that Adam fell. It only took one person and one sin from that one person to bring about sin and death for all people.
But it also only took one person to undo all that. Where Adam failed the test and fell into sin, Christ passed with flying colors. And he did it again and again. Every time sin and temptation came before Jesus, he acted with righteousness and love. When the ultimate act of obedience came before him, he willingly suffered and died so that God’s will would be done, so that the sins of the world would be paid for and sin and death defeated. One man had doomed the world, but now one man, the God-man, Christ Jesus, saved the world.
Through Jesus we have a new righteousness, a new life. The power Satan held over us is broken. And on those occasions we do fall, Jesus’ perfection is still there to carry us back to God and wipe out that failure. No longer fragile and helpless as a balloon, when we rest in God’s hands, the devil and his temptations can do no lasting harm to us. Saved by Jesus’ blood, secure in our salvation by our baptism, strengthened through the Word, nothing can separate us from God and his love. As we ponder our Savior this Lenten season, let us never forget all our Savior did to save us, and let us dedicate and rededicate our lives to him who did so much for us. Death is gone. We have life in Christ.
Pastor Tim Wahl