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. (Genesis 3:4-6)
As we begin to celebrate the first advent of Christ, sadly we must begin by recalling why Christ had to come in the first place. Why did Christ, the second person of the Godhead, the Son of God the Father, step out of the glory of heaven and take on human form? Why did the God of creation, the King of glory, step down from his throne, set aside his robe, and allow himself to be born in a stable, to be nursed at Mary’s breast, to grow up in Israel and live through the muck and the mire of life in a fallen world? Christ was willing to do this for us, for humanity, because of what humanity had ruined. Adam and Eve lived in a pristine environment, in perfect fellowship with God, had everything they could ever need, and had one law to follow—do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, lest you die. Instead, Adam and Eve, our biological parents, the representatives for all humanity, did what everyone of us would have done. They listened to serpent feed them lies. They began to question the goodness and trustworthiness of God. They became dissatisfied and discontent with where God had placed them and what God had given them. They came to believe God was withholding something better from them. They wanted more, so they reached out and violated God’s law. They broke trust with God. They forever damaged theirs, and our, relationship with God and brought sin, misery, death, and destruction into the world. They created a disaster they were incapable of fixing. They unleashed a power that was beyond their control—sin, death, and Satan. But although they brought this on themselves and deserved to suffer the consequences of their actions, God is rich in mercy and grace and knew that if the problem they created was ever going to be fixed, God himself would have to be the one to do it. Advent season (Christmas time) is about celebrating God making right what man had ruined.
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