For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
Today is the fourth Sunday of Lent — the 40 days in which Christians pray, fast, and make special sacrifices in remembrance of how Christ our Lord was tortured, suffered, and died for our sins.
The abiding and perplexing mystery that has vexed theologians through the centuries is why the fall of Adam and Eve required the self-sacrifice of none other than God Himself in atonement.
Sin — every sin — requires atonement to make things right again.
To atone is to amend or repair (Oxford Dictionaries). The synonyms of “atonement” are amend, penance, payment, redress, redemption, expiation, propitiation, restitution, reparation, indemnification, recompense, and satisfaction (Thesaurus.com).
The sin of Adam and Eve must have been so monumentally catastrophic that it tore the very fabric of the Universe.
Who can atone for this monumental sin?
Certainly no man (human) can, given that the sin was committed by the first man who, unlike subsequent humans, had been fashioned by God Himself, was unblemished with the stain of Original Sin (fomes peccati: an inclination toward evil), and had walked and talked with the Lord God:
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the evening….” (Genesis 3:8)
No human can atone for Adam’s Fall.
Only God can.
On this fourth Sunday of Lent, tell Him you love Him.
Jesus, I love You with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, and with all my strength. Thank you for suffering and dying for my sins, so that, if I choose to repent and believe in You, I may be saved and be with You, someday — forever.
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,