“But the free gift is not like the trespass….” (Rom 5:15)
In the garden, Adam gambled that his way was better than the one God had designed. Along with Eve, he reached for the fruit and plucked death for mankind. We all lost big time.
God blessed these two image-‐bearers and commanded them to be fruitful, to multiply, to fill the earth, to subdue and have dominion over all the birds and the fish and the beasts. Rebelliously, they threw everything away.
Paul tells us Adam’s choice led to our condemnation; his disobedience resulted in all of us becoming sinners. In a nutshell, “Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Mercifully, the story didn’t end in that garden. Christ entered the picture and regained far more than Adam ever lost. As Jesus walked through the hillsides and coastlines of Israel, before he even made it to the cross, he took back the dominion Adam forfeited in the Fall.
The Gospels record how the Lord had mastery over the fish that eluded Peter’s nets. The experienced fishermen returned from working through the night with nothing to show. On Jesus’ command to “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,” they caught so many fish “their nets were breaking” (Luke 5:4-6).
The Lord also recaptured the dominion Adam had once had over animals. In the way we picture Adam moving fearlessly among all the creatures in the garden, for forty days Christ lived unharmed among wild animals in the wilderness (Mark 1:13). Later, when he needed transportation into Jerusalem, he rode in effortlessly on an unbroken colt (Mark 11:2).
Waves turned to walking paths beneath his feet. Storms quit their menacing force with just a few words from his lips. Diseases and evil spirits could not compete against him, deserting their occupants in quick fashion at his demand. Even the molecules in ordinary water surrendered and turned to wine at his request.
The best part was still to come. Hanging on the cross, he conquered sin; walking out of the grave, he conquered death. Paul gives a triumphant summary when he exclaims, “Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him…For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:9,14).
Christ dominated. Christ overcame. Christ won. We worship!