What if Adam and Eve had repented? Could the curse have been reversed one might ask, after all God is merciful? But the issues in the Eden Scandal were very complex. So many legal and constitutional issues thrown up. The resolution would prove tough even for God and it would take millennia. But we seem to be getting ahead of ourselves, let’s back up a little.
It is kind of hard to understand the guy named Adam. He got us into this mess. He’s why we daily struggle with sin. (Romans 7:18-24) It’s either he didn’t get it, or he was so besotted with Eve, so captivated by her beauty he died a fool for love. He didn’t seem to take God seriously enough, couldn’t rise to a certain level of responsibility. And the consequences were dire. Eating that fruit was a grave mistake. The fruit it turned out was a major malware.
Funny thing was, Adam wasn’t deceived by the antics of the serpent. (1 Timothy 2:14) The serpent was intelligent no doubt, but Adam saw through all that propaganda stuff, all that talk about class warfare – humans versus the God class. The serpent accused God of trying to scare Adam and Eve with lies about the forbidden fruit. In doing so he advanced a curious theory of evolution. The subject of theory of evolution has been around for millennia, Darwin didn’t start it; it was the serpent who first mooted the idea. He advanced a transcendent version. Darwin’s idea was evolution of animals into humans, but the serpent’s idea was evolution of humans into God. It would turn out to be a fake version of that theory of evolution. We get to learn the true version from Apostle Paul millennia down the line: “If anyone is in Christ…he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come because spiritual awakening brings a new life.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP) And so there are three competing versions of the theory of evolution – the one advanced by Darwin, the one advanced by the serpent in the Garden, and the one advanced through Apostle Paul. We see the serpent’s version of the theory of evolution in his conversation with Eve. When Eve told the serpent the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was fatal, “The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5 MSG) And so Satan’s thesis of the evolution of man into God-like being was predicated on moral epistemology, or knowledge of morals. And so began the confusion of righteousness with morality. Till date man believes he can attain right standing with God through morality. Yet the Bible says otherwise. The false notion of “enlightenment” also arose from that propaganda in the Garden of Eden. “Your eyes will be opened,” the serpent said. (Genesis 3:5) As it turns out, what we call “New Age” is actually old age.
Adam suffered severally for disobeying God. Nature went into rebellion against him for one, instigated by God’s judgment: “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from, ‘Don’t eat from this tree,’ the very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you’ll be working in pain all your life long. The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, planting and tilling and harvesting, sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried; you started out as dirt, you’ll end up dirt.” (Genesis 3:17-19 MSG)
Here’s what Adam didn’t seem to realise. The moment God told him he’d die if he ate that fruit, things escalated from moral suasion into law. That statement defined disobedience as a capital offence. Which was why Adam was subjected to criminal trial. It’s why there’s a penalty of death. His self-admittance of guilt rendered him liable to gruesome punishment. He was warned! And so it wasn’t just that the tree was virus infected, loading malware into human genetic code, there was also judicial retribution – the famous curse.
The sin of Adam also provided an opening for Death. (Romans 5:12) Just a few years down the line the first shedding of human blood by another human would take place. Adam’s son, Cain murdered his own brother Abel in a fit of jealousy. Human emotions had definitely become messed up, scrambled by sin. There was now jealousy – negative emotion. Over time that shedding of human blood would escalate to an industrial scale. The earth became a theatre of war, humans up against humans in an orgy of demented violence. According to The Independent, out of 162 countries under study by the Institute for Economics and Peace in 2014, only 11 were actually free from conflict. In fact since the end of the Second World War in 1945, there have been 250 major wars in the world. The estimated casualty from those wars is 50 million souls. Six million Jews and six million Poles lost their lives in the Second World War alone. Thus the genetic code of the human race acquired blood lust through the sin of Adam.
God also declared pervasive war between the Woman and the serpent – a war that will never end: “God told the serpent: “I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15 MSG) It’s no surprise then that misogynistic hatred pervades the earth – rape, glass ceiling, slavery, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment, voting rights issue, objectification, cultural domination, etc.
But by far the greatest damage to the human race was psychological. The Bible calls that damaged state “sin nature”. It manifests as a definitive but dynamic sin list – “Repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalising everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community.” (Galatians 5:19-21 MSG) The list is not exhaustive. Paul wrote, “I could go on.”
Of course Adam never envisaged all these. He didn’t know the full ramification of that ominous statement, “The moment you eat from that tree, you’re dead.” (Genesis 2:17 MSG) The moral? Always take God’s word seriously. As it turns out, “You’re dead!” didn’t just signify physical death. The expression was colloquial and loaded, as in, “Everything will go wrong for you. Things are going to become unimaginably horrible. There’ll be so much damage there’ll be no original you left. You will die on three levels: spirit, soul and body. Even nature will rebel against you, make your life hell. You’re cooked!”
But what if Adam and Eve had repented? Quite an interesting question but truth is, the Eden catastrophe had gone beyond Adam as an individual. It was on two levels, the two levels being at par with the bilateral meaning of “Adam.” “Adam” was both a proper name and a political title. Jesus would also take on the title as “Last Adam.” (1 Corinthians 15:45) God definitely forgave Adam the individual. He actually made atonement for the sin of Adam and Eve. He shed blood by killing an animal. He made clothes for them from the animal skin. That was the first leather wear. God is a merciful God. He forgives iniquity. That disposition is carried over into the New Testament: “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9 NLT)
But there was the governmental dimension to the whole thing. Remember “Adam” was also a political title. And so there were political consequences. It’s largely those political consequences that are responsible for the state of the world today. For one the political regime of the law of sin and death kicked in. It’s a regime of brutal tyranny. The Ten Commandments could not save us from the infamy of that terrible law because of the psychotic state of mankind. We’re weakened by sin nature. (Romans 8:3) Our ability to overcome the law of sin and death is compromised.
It took God 4,000 years to sort out the legal mess from the Garden of Eden and to do that he had to send his Son to enter “the disordered mess of struggling humanity.” (Romans 8:3 MSG) Sin was judicially heaped on Jesus and as he hung on that cross the claims of justice were met. He condemned sin in his flesh. This led to inauguration of a new political regime – the regime of law of Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:2) But to benefit from the legal resolution one must be seen as Jesus: “Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are IN Christ Jesus, who believe in Him as personal Lord and Saviour. For the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus…has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:1-2 AMP)
If you’ll like to be set free from the brutality of the law of sin and death please pray this prayer: Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus Christ died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Please forgive me Father. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.The sin of Adam also provided an opening for Death. Click To Tweet