It looks like all the innovations man is so proud of is no match to death and resurrection, which are both brought on by man. Before Adam and Eve nobody died, so there was no need for resurrection. That changed when the drama of mankind unfolded. We don’t really think of death in terms of an innovation nor as a blessing. Nobody really wants to die. But maybe death is a blessing in disguise, at least for life on Earth as we know it. Imagine everybody – all the way back to Adam and Eve – would have stayed alive in this deeply dysfunctional state we’re in, can you imagine the resulting chaos? Even though death feels unnatural to us – and it is: we were not meant to die – death helps contain the chaos we’ve created when we separated from God and went our own way.
However, with God’s intervention the nature of death has forever changed. Instead of being the ultimate end – not unlike a period signifying the end of a sentence – death became a prelude. Again, in terms of punctuation we could compare death to a semicolon in that the Bible now differentiates between first and second death. What happened? Jesus happened.
God intervened on our behalf through His Son Jesus. He decided to partake in His own creation by becoming man; so the Son of God, for a brief time, became a Son of Man by being born into a Jewish family. Becoming man, Jesus was prone to die at some point, like everyone else. However, Jesus was not like everybody else. Unlike any of Adam’s children, He never sinned. He lived a life of love; He loved God, and He loved people. He is the fulfillment of God’s law in that He satisfied all of its requirements – including the punishment of sin. He took the punishment for our sin when He died, which is why Jesus died a criminal’s death being executed on the cross.
With Jesus God introduced resurrection. Jesus was the first to come back from the dead. On the Third Day God brought Him back to life. He rose from the grave. His Resurrection signifies two things:
1. Jesus’ sacrificial death completely satisfies the law and represents appropriate punishment of all sin that ever happened and going to happen as long as man walks this Earth.
2. Jesus’ resurrection is the door to life for all creation. Death is positively overcome – swallowed up by Life!
This is a circle that cannot be broken: Believing in our cause God’s Son became Adam’s Son and went the extra mile to save us; believing in God’s story and accepting Jesus’ gift Adam’s children become God’s children and share in His Eternal Life.