One Man Breaks… One Man Fixes

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18–19, NIV)

God never lets Adam off the hook — nor should he. After all, it was Adam who propagated sin in the world by passing it along to every father’s child. Now, before you cry foul over your spiritual genetics, let’s self-assess: Have you ever sinned… or do you know anyone who has not? When it comes to sin, the empirical proves the doctrinal… everyone has sinned (Rom. 3:23).

Jesus is the exception, of course. Sin passes through the fathers, and Jesus had no earthly father (Mat. 1:18-25). But in spite of his divinity, Jesus was still truly human — and this is a critical quality in a redeemer. You see, one who purports to redeem must first be related to the object of redemption (and having a mother helped him here), but he must also be willing and able to do the job. So let’s look at the Jesus’ curriculum vitae more closely.

First, Jesus became our kindred through his natural birth (1 Jn. 4:2); this qualified him as a relative to humankind. Second, he voluntarily went to the cross (Jn. 10:17-18); this proves that he was willing to redeem us. Third, in addition to not having a sin nature like ours, he lived his entire life without committing any sins (Heb. 4:15); this made him… and uniquely so… able to pay for our sin. Jesus was the “Lamb without spot” (1 Pet. 1:19) — and his perfect sacrifice marked the final Passover — the final sacrifice for sin.

Why is it, then, that in spite of Jesus declaring that “It is finished!” (Jn. 19:30), and in spite of God ripping the temple veil in two (Mat. 27:51) — that people keep bringing sacrifices to an altar that has no fire? Bringing anything other than sin to the cross affronts the cross… and seeking an advocate other than Jesus affronts the Intercessor (Rom. 8:34). We need to understand that Jesus did no partial work, and as such, we should stop treating him like he did (Mat.7:21-23).

If you are still flailing about, trying to pay for your own sins, this is at the very least, redundant… but at the very most, insulting (Heb. 6:6). How else would you describe ignoring the God’s clear report that the job is done… that the altar is closed… and that Jesus is your personal advocate? (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25; 10:10, 14).

Yes, we do have a part in this salvation (Jn. 1:12) — God forces no one to come home. But we should believe what God wants us to believe (Jn. 6:29); we should stop bringing him trinkets instead of our lives… and we should remember how narrow the gate (Mat. 7:13).

Anyone who is in heaven — be it yesterday, today or tomorrow — is there because Jesus fixed things for them, not because they lived well on this earth. Now, a life well lived is still better than an evil one; it’s just not acceptable currency at the gates… but sinlessness is — and only one man has that coinage. So, when it comes to sin, one man fixes… and only one.

 

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