When it comes to the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus, there are so many elements of each of those events, it’s hard to know where to begin.
There is a love so deep, it’s hard to fathom. A man that was perfect in every way, who took the sins of the world on his shoulders. A day laden with darkness, where three words were spoken that cut into the hearts of every man. And a gift, so amazing, that it is beyond priceless.
Each of those elements demands its own spotlight. Which is why each one will. This week we will cover the four S’s of the Easter Story: Sinners. Savior. Sadness. Salvation.
Today we cover the first S; Sinners. To understand sin, we must look at the beginning of sin and where it came from.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
That’s how it began. It doesn’t say in the beginning a big bang or aliens or an explosion. This was the beginning of time, space, and our universe.
2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
The context here leaves no room for debate for preexisting matter or form. This is the creation that began with nothing. We can’t even call it a blank canvas because there was no canvas.
God created every detail of our universe. Everything from the Milky Way, to the stars, to the complex regions of our planets. God took nothing and spoke everything into existence.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
The rest of Genesis 1 is the creation of our world, which took six days to complete.
On Day One God created light and it was the first day. Day Two God divides the waters and the firmament.
6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
Then on Day Three God creates our home; Earth.
9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Then Days Four through Six God begins to fill the earth with plant and animal life. And He filled the heavens too.
At the end of verses 4,12,18,21,25, and 31. It says ‘God saw that it was good.’ God made everything perfect. The perfect atmosphere, seasons, time, space, and the distance between us and the sun. And on Day Six the first mention of man and woman appear.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
And in Genesis 2:7, man was created. And then God rested on the seventh day.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
After Adam was created, God put him in charge of Eden. Eden was a magnificent garden paradise. It was a perfect and holy place, and Adam had free reign of it. There was just one rule.
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
It was that simple. Adam could live in paradise, had to job of tending the garden, and even naming the first animals. Genesis 2:19-20
19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field…
This was not a new creation of animals; God was just calling attention to the fact He created them “out of the ground” as He did Adam.
While everything was perfect, Adam needed a companion, he needed a woman. Which God created.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
For a short while, Adam, Eve and Eden were a perfect place. All Adam and Eve knew was goodness, truth, holiness, obedience, and righteousness.
Everything was good as God said it was. But that all came to an end. Like a cloud covering the sun, a dark day soon approached.
Somewhere between the end of chapter one and the beginning of chapter three, there happened a fallen archangel whose name was Satan.
Satan was everything Eden and its occupants were not. Evil, ugly, cunning, sinful, and a liar. And Eve would soon fall into his evil scheme. Now, we don’t know what life was like pre-fall, but Eve was about to have a conversation with the serpent.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
This is where I would have gone screaming for Adam or God. “A snake is talking to me!” The serpent was Satan, he possessed the body of a snake, and found Eve alone, without the protection of Adam. And he plants the tiniest seed of second-guessing in Eve’s mind, by asking her if God really tell you not to eat of every tree?
And Eve tells the serpent exactly what God and told them.
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
When God first told Adam about the tree, all God told Adam was not to eat of it, but Eve said that they couldn’t touch it either. Adam probably told her that. Don’t touch it, don’t eat it. It was that simple.
Well, even the simplest command can be twisted around. And Satan is very good at twisting things around so we second guess yourself.
Because then Satan outright lied to Eve.
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was [a]pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
And that was the end. The very first sin was disobedience to God. And we could criticize them all day, and say ‘how could you do it?’, but we are no better than they.
Satan’s lies always promise great benefits, but they lead to corruption and misery. And that’s exactly how Adam and Eve ended up. Miserable and cursed.
Well, once one has sinned, and knowing punishment might be near, the automatic human reaction would be to hide to delay the outcome.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
But hiding or telling small fibs will never help our cause. It will only lead to more hurt.
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
And here we have our very first finger-pointing blame. It wasn’t me! She did it! No! It was him!
But it didn’t matter, the damage was done. The world was cursed. Sin had entered. Nothing on earth was perfect anymore.
And in verses 17-24 God lays out the punishment, which ultimately ended with Adam and Eve causing the first bloodshed and getting kicked out of the garden of Edan.
21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Adam and Eve should have died physically not just spiritually. God showed an astounding amount of love and mercy.
But this substitute death would also happen again. When God would send His Son to save a world of sin.
The first S is Sinner. Followed by Savior.