It all began in the east, and by the east I mean Eden. We are told that God created a beautiful garden in the east and called it Eden. Eden is the place that all men wish to return to. Eden is important not for the beauty of the garden, but for those things that are intangible. Eden is that place where man was once rightly positioned with his creator. There was a communion between creature and creator that can hardly placed in words. There is a remnant of Eden burned into our souls. We all seek to return to that right position with our creator. Many will not acknowledge their creator, but they still have an ache inside that they can not seem to cure. We know we are not right. We know that who we think we ought to be, never matches the people we truly are when the lights are out and no one is watching. Something is dramatically wrong with us.
As a Christian, I believe that we have inherit sin from Adam. Adam had that perfect relationship with creator and he squandered it. He was in a perfect position to his creator, and yet he believed the lie of the serpent that he would make a much better God. That is at the heart of all our sin, isn't it? Pride. If we break down most sin to its core component it is a sin of pride. We have exalted creature over creator, and participated in a rebellion against God. We have an uneasiness in our hearts. There is something wrong, but many times we can never put our finger on it. We are a million miles from the one who created us, and we are worse for it.
Men have tried many things to bridge that gap or to dull the pain of not measuring up. Some have tried to live austere lives of self-denial. It can give a person a great sense of accomplishment, but in the dark they still wonder if they have done enough to please a Holy God. Have they done enough to approach the unapproachable. Some people will try to remove God from the equation. I am sure they reason if they remove God, then there is no rule maker. If there is no rule maker, then anything is permissible. They say all this, but then in the dark they still feel empty and hollow inside. They realize they don't measure up, even though they have cast aside the standard.
None of this will ever work to address this deep-seated ache. Augustine said, "my soul was restless until it rested in you". I believe it was Pascal that described us as having a God shaped hole. We have a problem that has only one solution. God created us in His image in order to enjoy perfect communion with our creator. How can we possibly return to that idyllic state of Eden? How can we possibly approach the unapproachable? We feel our own inadequacy. How could we possibly come as wicked, wretched beings before a perfect and holy God?
We may have created the mess, but God has provided the solution. God is a holy and just God. He has a righteous wrath toward sin. We can not approach in are fallen state. His wrath has to be satisfied in order to allow us to return to Eden. Jesus is the incarnate Son of God. He is God of God. He is one with the Father. He is 100% God and yet completely man. In his humanity he was able to experience the pain and sorrow that we experience everyday. In his divinity he was able to live the only live ever worthy of a just and holy God. He was able to do what we will never be able to do. He then became the propitiation for our sins. Propitiation is a big word that basically means that he endured all of God's wrath. He bore the rejection that we feel in a small part in our fallen nature, but he felt it for all people and for all time. Hanging on the cross, Jesus bore the rejection of the Father that should have rightly been ours. In demonstration of his divinity and his power over sin and death, Jesus was raised from the death. All of this was done to address that deep sickness you feel. That hollow emptiness that you never talk about. That emptiness was made to be filled with none other than Jesus. Jesus has made the only means where we might return to Eden. Return to that idyllic state of being in a right relationship with our Creator.