Sunday Devotional: ‘in Christ shall all be brought to life’

Genesis 3:17, 19

To the man [the Lord] said:
Because you listened to your wife
and ate from the tree about which I commanded you,
You shall not eat from it, […]
By the sweat of your brow
you shall eat bread,
Until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
For you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.

Wanting to be “as gods,” our first parents in that first garden freely chose to disobey the explicit command of God. Imagine their hubris!

But the exercise of free will is not free of consequences. As God had forewarned, the issues of disobedience were dire indeed. By their fall, a door was opened to chaos; henceforth a price must be paid for being human. Where once was joy and ease, there would be suffering, hardship, and pain; where once was harmony and order, there would be turmoil and confusion. Eve and all her female progeny would bear the pangs of childbirth; work would become an affliction as Adam and all men who follow must toil in order to survive. The union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions and marked by lust and domination; humankind’s relation with other creatures and the physical environment turns askew as visible creation becomes alien and hostile to man; the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered, and humanity becomes vulnerable to the ravages of sickness and disease. As J.R.R. Tolkien put in, in “a fallen world . . . there is no consonance between our bodies, minds, and souls” (Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, p. 51).

More than all that, death enters the world. Along with lives of toil and pain, men and women would eventually die, returning to the ground from which they were first taken, “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Why our first parents’ fall required the intercession of none other than the Son of God Himself is a mystery that not even the brightest theologians could fully plumb or explain. This much we do know because we are told: By willingly sacrificing Himself to die on a cross, Jesus the Christ not only atoned for our first parents’ terrible sin, He also reversed their greatest punishment — the irrevocability of death.

That is why the Resurrection is so central to Christianity. In the words of St. Paul:

1 Cor 15:14, 17-18, 20-22

If Christ has not been raised,
then our preaching is in vain
and your faith is in vain….
And if Christ has not been raised,
Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished….
But, in fact,
Christ has been raised from the dead….
For since death came through a human being,
the resurrection of the dead
came also through a human being.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life.

But the promise of eternal life can be erased by sin.

St. Paul warns:

Romans 6:3-4, 8-11

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.

If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.

See also:

May the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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7 responses to “Sunday Devotional: ‘in Christ shall all be brought to life’

  1. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote that it was not the sin itself that got Adam & Eve expelled from the Garden of Eden, for had they repented before God, He would have spared them. Instead, they both became self-righteous about their sin, and hence, God commanded his angel (St. Michael the Archangel?) to expel them.
    When we were children we had to attend the Children’s Mass. Msgr. Reilly (d. 1970) told us that God was within His Rights to end the human race right then and there—and that God WOULD HAVE BEEN RIGHT TO DO SO. But God allowed this to happen, and that He WOULD send a Redeemer. Msgr. Reilly said that evil is a Mystery. And it is. But God had intended, from the Beginning, to Personally Appear in Human History, and He Did, through Jesus Christ.

    Few, indeed, there are who accept Jesus as their own personal Savior by actually accepting Him and applying the Gospels to their own lives. In my own life I must battle my pride every day. This is the stumbling block to sanctity and salvation, this pride, which resides within each and every single one of us, Msgr. Reilly told us repeatedly.

    We have the Gospels and we have human reason to guide our way to Belief. We have the testimony of the Apostles and other believers. We even have the Holy Shroud of Turin with its forensic evidence that point toward the Divinity of Christ and the actual Historicity of the Resurrection. We are even learning more from physics that seem to point toward future knowledge to aid and assist us in knowing that this physical universe is not all there is. So it turns out that Belief is a choice, a chore, a battle and a war, the Original Sin is real and still infects the human race, and that, in the words of Thomas Edison (an atheist), “We know less than one millionth of one percent about anything.”
    Our Lord Himself Lamented, “Few who are who find it.” That means the onus—laid upon our free will—is on US.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I humble myself before Christ, the only begotten Son, to intercede before God, the Almighty in the forgiveness of my sins, so when my day comes my soul is cleansed of all my woes.

    Like

  3. TY

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank You, Dr. Eowyn, for the humbling reminders of sin and the “greatest punishment”….but, also of our Lord Jesus Christ’s agape love and sacrifice…
    I do wonder if Adam and Eve had never sinned, then who, along the genealogical line would have?
    I believe sin is part of man’s nature. As long as God gives us choice, sin will always play a part, just as to not sin will always play a part.
    Throughout the bible are countless reminders of man’s inability to be without sin and failed attempts at atonement and the only times it is made clear that man can be without sin permanently, in my opinion, is when Jesus atoned for our sins.
    death has no hold on those who hold on to Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A sobering thought: Adam and Eve, being the first humans, were without the stain of Original Sin (fomes peccati: tinder for sin), and yet they freely sinned.

      Like

  5. Amen!! Good reminder about trying to walk the straight and narrow.

    Liked by 1 person

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