Summary: We need the cure of Jesus because of the curse of Adam

There was a black slave named Jack who chopped wood every day for his master. It was a hard task. His hands would bleed. His entire body would also be painful. Ever since he was a child, he did just that.

One very exhausting day, he thought of his dire situation. Whose fault was it that he ended up a slave? Who’s the one he should blame for his awful life? Was it his parents or his grandparents? Well, they were all born slaves also. Finally, he realized whose fault it was. It was Adam. Because Old Adam ate the forbidden fruit, Jack became a slave. He got so angry that, as he chopped wood, he hit it with so much force.

His master asked him what his problem is. When he told his master, he answered, “If it’s Adam’s fault, then you should not suffer for it. From now, you will no longer chop wood. Enjoy my house, the food and the drink. There’s only one condition. Don’t open the box on top of the dining table.”

After gorging himself with a sumptuous meal, he saw the box. It was just an ordinary looking box. He shook it. But it was light and it seems to be empty. He got so curious that he opened it. He saw a letter. It reads: “Dear Jack. See? Don’t you ever blame Adam again! If you were in his place, you would do the same thing. Go chop some wood!”

Aren’t we like Jack also? We thought we are victims. That it was all Adam’s fault. But the Bible says otherwise. Today, as we start the Lenten season, we remember the death and resurrection of our Lord. It is my prayer that we will appreciate the Lord’s passion more as we take a fresh look at the implication of Adam’s curse and the need for the cure. Let us open our Bibles in Romans 5:12, 15-19.

First, we NEED the cure because of the curse. Note what verse 12 says: “Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.” Yes, sin came through Adam. But it also says, “everyone has sinned.” The tense of the word “sinned” in the Greek indicates, “that at one point in time all men sinned. That, of course, was the time that Adam first sinned.” In short, we all sinned in Adam’s sin. Adam did not sin as a person. He sinned as our representative. If our president signs a ten billion dollar debt, it’s not her personal but it’s our national debt. Her signature is our signature. So also, that one act of Adam in the eyes of God is everybody’s act.

We need to admit that there is a problem before we can look for a solution. As sinners, we are all cursed. And we are not victims of Adam’s fall. We are not his collateral damage. That doesn’t mean we can’t do any good at all. In fact, sad to say, there are unbelievers who are more righteous or better than believers are. The fact that we are cursed as sinners “does not mean that human beings are all as bad as they could be.” That means that on our own we can’t be acceptable to God and we can’t do anything pleasing before Him. Note what Isaiah 64:6 says: “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” What did he compare to filthy rags? “…all our righteous acts”. He was not talking about bad deeds but good works. That’s the reason why good works cannot save us.

So we need to find a cure. But it has to be the right cure. It is sad that there are Filipino penitents who would go through crucifixion this Good Friday. Some would say it’s their “panata” or their vow because God answered their prayers to heal a sick relative. But some would say it is for the sin of the whole world. But that’s wrong! Why would our Lord Jesus come down here on earth in the first place if we can find the cure ourselves? If we can actually save ourselves, why would Jesus bother to die for us? Jesus is the only cure. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” We cannot add, subtract, or replace God’s cure for our curse, Christ’s death on the cross for our sins.

We also need to remember that the cure is MUCH GREATER than the curse. Verse 15 says this: “But the gift is not like the trespass.” God’s Word Translation goes like this: “There is no comparison between God’s gift and Adam’s failure.” The Contemporary English Version says, “the gift that God was kind enough to give was very different from Adam’s sin.” Why? Verse 15 continues: “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” Note the words “how much more”. The curse is nothing compared to the cure.

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Jeff Strite

commented on Feb 25, 2008

The illustration about leprosy was well worth the pleasure of reading your sermon.

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