Lent Devotions 2009: Wednesday 25 February

“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19

When I was a child, a few of my friends and I loved to set up elaborate trails of dominoes just to watch one single domino set off a massive chain reaction of tumbling dominoes. It often took hours to set up the dominoes, but in a matter of seconds they all came tumbling down.

Humanity was a bit like that. God’s elaborate creation was beautiful and good. Humans had perfect fellowship with God. There was no sin or death to spoil anything. But then it all came crashing down when Adam rebelled against God’s Word and ate the forbidden fruit. The domino effect was set in motion. From that moment on, original sin infected us and we are unable to help ourselves – we must sin. And sin leads to death: thanks, Adam.

As a child I loved watching the dominoes go flying, but I always yearned for a way to reverse what had happened. I wanted a way of having all the now prostrated dominoes to once again be upright and in position so we could start again. But it was impossible.

I’m glad we have a God who deals in the impossible. Our sinful condition looked beyond repair. But Jesus Christ became the Second Adam. He perfectly obeyed all God’s teachings; He perfectly paid the price for our rebellion; and He conquered our greatest enemies: sin, death, and the devil. Through this one man, God’s grace and righteousness are ours. The crashing and shattering sound and effects of sin have been halted, and more than halted, they have been reversed. God, through Christ, has made us upright and ready to love as Christ has loved us. In Christ, the dominoes are going backward, faster, better, more amazingly than we could ever imagine. Sin is replaced with righteousness, death with life, slavery with freedom, enmity with peace, and sorrow with joy.

In Your great mercy You promised salvation through a Second Adam, Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, and made His cross a life-giving tree for all who trust in Him. Amen. (LSB prayer from DS setting 4)