Probably the heaviest article I’ve ever written.
When someone wishes to purchase a home, they typically look for a real estate agent to assist and act on their behalf. Often reviews are read and websites are browsed to determine what agency or agent will do the best job. A real estate agent’s job is to introduce home-seeking individuals to the home they need. The agent is the middleman connecting home-seeker to new home.
In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were hand-crafted by Jesus to be exactly like Jesus (Genesis 1:27-28; John 1:3). They had developed such an intimate relationship with Jesus that, when he came into the garden to investigate after they ate the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve actually recognized the sound he made as he walked, and they fled (Genesis 3:8). Adam and Eve’s rebellious act in eating a fruit they were explicitly told not to permanently severed their relationship with God. It was a public proclamation that they neither believed nor trusted God and preferred to go about things their own way. The fruit had nothing to do with it; the motivation behind the action was everything. However, God didn’t turn his back on humanity (he came looking for them, after all); instead, humanity–collectively through Adam and Eve–turned its back on God. This single act of sinful rebellion created an eternal divide between man and God. The infinite God, in whose image finite Adam and Eve were made, became infinitely out of reach. Humanity required an agent to bridge the infinite gap between them. Who else but the Son who made man with His own hands could accomplish this task? Who else but the eternal Son of God, born both human and divine, could die to permanently eradicate sin?
And Jesus must die because sin must die permanently. Through Adam and Eve, sin became hereditary and permanent (Romans 5:12). Sin cannot exist in God’s presence as sin itself is contrary to His very nature–it is darkness to His light, cold to His heat, rebellion to His law. God abhors sin. If sin is in us and is a part of us, the only way to get rid of sin is to get rid of us. But if I die and am resurrected, my inherent sin is so much a part of me that it will be resurrected with me! Scripture clearly gives us only two options: absolute and irreversible destruction of myself to get rid of my sin, or Jesus does something spectacular to get rid of my sin (John 3:16). I know I will eventually die, but I don’t want to die permanently (even if that gets rid of my sin). Temporary death doesn’t seem to phase God at all (John 11:11-14), but a permanent death is a little more serious (Matthew 10:28). God’s solution? Make sin suffer this permanent death outside of me (This is where things get a little SCI-FI and ironically involves Adam in a way).
“knew no sin”
(that is, lived a human life perfectly within the law of God),
“became sin.”2 Corinthians 5:21
This is massive. Jesus didn’t die for the sake of dying. He, God–Jesus, the only Son of the Father, actually became sin itself–my sin, your sin, all sin–and laid down His own life permanently (that “perish” death mentioned in John 3:16. The kind you don’t come back from) so as to permanently destroy sin as well. Jesus did not die a sinner: He died as sin itself. Perhaps akin to the “is water wet?” debate. “Wet” is a descriptor for a thing that has water applied to it; “wet” in and of itself is not water, but water, once applied to a thing, can make that thing wet. Jesus died as sin but not as a sinner. He was the thing rather than affected by the thing.
Adam was made very nearly a carbon copy of Christ (Genesis 1:26-27) and was made owner of all the earth (28). Upon eating the fruit in the garden of Eden, Adam surrendered what was rightfully his, as given by God, to Satan (but God still retains absolute sovereignty of all creation (Psalm 24:1)). Essentially, you and I are born into a world owned by God but managed by Satan (Ephesians 6:12), thus we have no choice to be born with sin. Adam surrendered humanity to an eternity of sin in Satan; Christ reversed this by offering Himself as a trade. Jesus surrendered Himself to Satan by becoming sin itself, thus releasing humanity from slavery to both sin and Satan. Jesus, His human self and as sin itself, died permanently. Jesus, however, was more than human. This is how He was able to both die permanently and be resurrected. His human self died permanently, but His divine self lives permanently, albeit with the scars he earned from the cross event. My sin, upon repentance, is permanently killed with Christ on the cross, buried with Him, and left there forever. The new me, in the risen Christ, lives continually.
Jesus, in the form of man,
“…humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”Philippians 2:8
Thus the wrath of God, kindled against the sin inherent in man, was satisfied. The darkness to His light is destroyed. The cold to His heat is destroyed. The rebellion to His law is destroyed. Jesus, both God and the Son of God, died on our behalf, building an infinite bridge over the infinite gap we made between us and the eternal God. Christ, by surrendering His heavenly glory and descending to the world and state of man, by laying His life down for us on the cross, acted, and now acts, as our real estate agent connecting man to the God they seek, need, and want.
Jesus, only Jesus, is our greatest real estate agent–our agent of salvation.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”Psalm 86:5
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”Galatians 2:20
Will Jesus be your agent?