The Human Race” is in turmoil. Something is terribly wrong. People are destroying themselves with all manner of vices in the name of fun. It is getting harder by the day to keep up with the various criminal activities in the media. In Trinidad and Tobago alone, a country of just about 1.3 million people, it is not unusual these days to have six murders in one day.
There seems to be a malignant spirit on the loose with an aim to completely eradicate the human race. We have only to look at the “Arab Spring” situation particularly in Syria and Libya and the unnecessary suffering in parts of Africa because of civil war and famine and the gobal shame of human trafficking and modern-day slavery, to name a few of the evil that surrounds us daily.
Sometime in April/May I was watching the “CNN News” with the “Homs shelling” situation in Syria. There was this little baby who was struck with shrapnel in his chest. As he lay there gasping his last breath, this question came to my mind: “Who really is responsible for all this pain and suffering?”
I asked myself, “what is really causing people to turn on others with such viciousness across the world. For this is not a single country or one community’s problem.” I was surprised how quickly the answer flashed across my mind – SIN – Romans 1:28-32. I retorted just as quickly, “But Jesus died and was resurrected to settle this problem.” The answer came right back, “But not everyone believes this message.” Romans 1:28 declares “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”
Then another question came to mind – why did humans have to be reconciled to God? Was there ever a time when God and humans were on friendly terms – trusting each other? For my answer this time, I turned to my Bible. I decided to start with Genesis, because here everything had its beginning. As I read, I became aware that the universe did not start with a big bang – it was created. Genesis 1:1-3. And what was astounding was the fact that it was made out of nothing, hence the word “create.”
As I continued to delve into the scriptures I understood that man was created in the image and likeness of God – this implies that man is a free moral agent able to distinguish right from wrong , which are God-like qualities. I noticed that God made man, male and female. Yes, the inspired writer took time to include that God created he him, male and female created He them.
Reading the first two chapters of Genesis really whet my appetite for more of the good stuff so I continued on to chapter three and bang! There it was – the answer to my question, the whole scenario was before me and I was in awe at the details of the account.
According to the Genesis account, man was created by God and placed in the Garden of Eden to dress and keep it and while there to have fellowship with God. The man who was called Adam was commanded to eat freely of every tree of the garden except one – “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Attached to this command was a warning that the day Adam ate of the tree, he would die. Adam seemed to have taken the warning seriously and was obedient when he was all alone.
God made animals and birds and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them and whatever names Adam gave them, so they were called. This showed the love and favour of God – allowing man to share in His work – for He could have named the animals Himself. It also showed the loving relationship between God and man at that particular time, for God would come down in the cool of the day to have fellowship with the man Genesis 3:8
Sometime after the naming of the animals, God saw that man needed a companion and said,”It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make him an helpmeet.” So Eve was made from a rib taken from Adam’s side and now Adam had one like himself to relate to among other things. Eden was resounding with happiness – beautiful scenery, healthy food, a perfect couple and God to love and guide them. It was a place full of grace and favour.
Then one day the woman was alone when she was enticed by Satan disguised as a serpent. There was an exchange of words, Genesis 3:1 records the devil’s questioning remarks, “Yea, hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” This was the first lie, for God had said they could eat of every tree except one. As the conversation continued, Eve got carried away because the serpent told her she would not really die but that her eyes would be open knowing good and evil and she would become like God. Apparently this last statement got the better of her and she ate and gave some to her husband also who came along sometime after. This is where, according to the scriptures, the problem of sin and death began. Adam and Eve did not drop dead immediately but they started to experience the effect of the curse – ageing, fear, guilt, the blame game, sickness, expulsion from God’s paradise and finally, they lost intimate contact with God Himself. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23.
But God is merciful so there was a plan “B” – Jesus Christ was sent to die on the cross an action to reconcile man back to God and again receive unmerited favour. Romans 5:6. But why Jesus? Because sin is so hateful in the sight of God it demanded death. Blood must be shed – for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Also the blood of bulls and goats used in the Old Testament times were not able to take away sin, only to cover it for a while.
The work demanded righteous blood, therefore, Jesus had to be the “One.” The Just for the unjust. My search was thus complete. I was satisfied with the biblical answer but I also noticed that man had a responsibility. His was to believe the gospel and live – reject it and be eternally lost. What would you do with this unmerited favour?