John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’. niv
God who separates
As we saw at the beginning of Genesis God orders things through separation, light from darkness, waters from waters, waters from expanse, land and seas, animals and humanity. This act of separation is the perfect judgement of a perfect God. God knows why he created and how he wants creation to respond. Without creation responding in the way it was created then there wouldn’t be order or a visible design but there would be chaos. Nothing would know where it should be or how it should respond.
There is another aspect to God’s perfect separation, God’s perfect judgement against sin.
Once sin entered the garden God declared his judgement on the devil, who brought sin into the garden, and God’s humanity that accepted the sin being offered. God’s declared judgement would be just, it would be final, it would be paid for but it would be different.
Genesis 3:14-15 God’s eternal judgement against the devil and sin declares there will be no salvation for him. God knows the devil is the father of lies and that no good is found in him. The promise of the offspring is the promise that the devil, whose whole character is defined by sin and whose heart is fuelled by sin, will one day be destroyed…..forever. The devil would pay eternally with his life for the penality of sin.
There is a promise within God’s judgement against the devil, a promise for humanity, a promise of hope. God declared that an offspring would come to destroy the devil, the originator of sin, it is here that holds a promise for humanity. Now spiritually separated from unity with God therefore now mortal beings, there will come a time when the separation from the Father would come to an end and that the shame and guilt of their sin, which had caused Adam and Eve to hide from their Father God, would one day come to an end Genesis 3:15 and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[a] and hers; he will crush[b] your head, and you will strike his heel.” niv
Adam and Eve understood that promise that’s why they thought the offspring would come from them,they needed relief from the shame and guilt. But as we thought about last week, sinful man can not run away from their guilt and shame because they can not provide the perfect offspring, the one needed to fulfil God’s judgement against sin. Unknown to Adam and Eve, held within God’s promise, is that the debt of humanity’s sin would be paid by God himself.
Adam and Eve had no idea that the consequences of their sin would affect generations and generations of humanity to come. From now on humanity had to walk a different path, a path filled with physical torment, hardship and doubts. Humanity were now on a mortal journey, a separation from eternal peace and unity.
Adam and Eve had no idea what areas of life they would experience death, the death penality God had declared would be the consequence of eating the fruit. Unknown to them death comes in many ways spiritually, physically and emotionally.
What they now knew is that there would be three areas of separation that Adam and Eve had to face;
The separation of the perfect relationship Genesis 3:16 ‘Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you’.
The separation of the perfect relationship with creation Genesis 3:17 ‘cursed is the ground because of you….’.
The separation of the perfect relationship with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) Genesis 3:22 ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. He must not now be able to reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever’ therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken’. niv
These consequences were far reaching including difficulty in childbirth and difficulty in providing food for themselves through toil and hardship. However, there was hope, there was a future hope, a provision by God to enable humanity to once again come back into the perfect relationship with God and that promise would be fulfilled through a human baby but not just any baby!
The horrific truth is that in the moment that sin was accepted by Adam and Eve, the greatest consequences was it undone God’s perfect creation. God created life and sin brought death just as God had warned.
What a sad moment, a day of horror, a day of undoing all the beauty found in Genesis 1 and 2, all the goodness undone in their lives.
This is the truth of sin. Even today we see this truth unfold before us. Sin promises so much and still leaves us wanting more. Sin turns us into liars and thieves ‘I’ll only have one more’ ‘They won’t miss this they have so much themselves’. But then we are caught out when guilt and shame is our trophy. Just as Adam and Eve did, we try to cover over our sin or justify it…’well it’s not hurting anyone’; ‘if I didn’t have to do without I wouldn’t be tempted’!
Can you see Adam and Eve’s sin is also our sin, we have inherited the same language and the same excuses…..it’s her fault, it’s his fault…..or worse still God it’s your fault.
Whether we realise it or not sin is destructive not just to the ones who have sinned but to the people and the world around them. Like Adam and Eve, in our sin we play the blame game… Genesis 3:13 ‘The woman whom you have to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree and I ate’ Genesis 3:13 ‘The serpent deceived me and I ate’.
Our sin goes far beyond the boundaries of our own lives. We have no idea of all the consequences of the sins we engage in. But worst of all it separates us from the light of God, the place of safety and security, the place of life itself.
A Kingdom restored
In our passage today from John 1:1 we see creation language used in Genesis ‘In the beginning’. This is not accidental God wants us to know that the one that has come to redeem (buy back) mankind is the one who was there at the beginning ‘God who made heaven and earth’.
As you follow through the gospel of John you will discover the promised offspring, the one spoken of in the Law and the Prophets (Old Testament) the one who would provide the great separation, the separation from sin needed to restore humanity to the holiness of God, to restore creation and restore God’s blessing.
The promised one who would be both divine (the authority to judge) and human (the ability to die). In the Lord Jesus we discover that on the cross Jesus provided the greatest separation of all. That for all time from that moment and forever more Jesus, God the Son, would take the death penalty of sin (declared in Genesis 2:17) onto himself so that the curse of humanity (Genesis 3:16) could be destroyed so that all who believe in Jesus can return to the relationship we were always created to have with God the Father (John 3:16).
The separation needed to bring humanity back is one filled with grace and mercy for us but it would come at a great cost to God himself. It would mean separation from His own beloved Son.