Man’s failure in the garden resulted in two problems. Unless these problems were remedied, the way to life would remain permanently closed. Man would then be eternally lost.
The Two Problems
Things went horribly wrong in the Garden of Eden. God specifically told man he was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To do so would result in death. In defiance of God’s direct order, man ate of the wrong tree. Two things resulted from this act.
1. Man sinned. Man directly disobeyed his God. There is only one penalty for this act of rebellion.
Someone innocent must die for man’s act of lawlessness.
2. Man became a sinner. Through his act of sin he became the slave of sin (John 8:34). Man cannot be rehabilitated from this condition. There is only one thing that can break his bondage to sin.
A man can be the worst serial killer in history, but once he dies it all stops. Sin can do nothing with a dead man.
Unless these two issues could be resolved, the way to life would remain closed and man would be forever lost to the eternal penalty and power of sin.
The Cross of Jesus Christ will forever stand as God`s means of dealing with the problems created by man`s sin. Let`s see how this works.
1. The death of the innocent Christ on the Cross sufficiently paid the penalty for man`s sin. Because of Christ`s death, God can now justly forgive the sins of man and bring man back into right relationship with Himself. This is laid out clearly in Romans 3:22 – 26,
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. NLT
2. Christ`s death on the Cross also breaks the power of sin in man`s life. Because He died as our Substitute, His death was counted as our own (2nd Corinthians 5:14). Because we died in Him, sin forever loses it`s grip on us as stated in Romans 6:6 – 7,
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. NLT
Now we can truly count ourselves as dead to sin but alive to God (Romans 6:11). We have been set free!
This is tremendous news! Because the Lord resolved these problems through the Cross of Jesus Christ, the way to life has once again been opened. Now, instead of living as rebels, we can truly begin to live in the Reign.