Adam and Forgiveness

There is something missing in the story of the Fall in Gen 3. Adam and Eve have rejected God’s commandment and have partaken of the forbidden fruit. As a consequence, they begin to hide from God. What is unusual is that when God confronts Adam with his sin, he never asks for forgiveness, never says he is sorry, but rather begins to make excuses. ‘This woman that You gave me, she gave it to me.’ JPII in Crossing the Threshold of Hope states that when man sinned he gave up the father-son relationship with God and took on instead a master-slave mentality. In other words, Adam began to operate out of his quilt and sin which led to fear. His guilt became the lens through which he saw everything, even God. It prevented him from seeing the fatherly care of his Creator. In this, Adam truly became a slave, a slave to fear, so much so that he could no longer see or feel the grace of God.

That is precisely where the miracle of redemption comes in. We cannot save ourselves. But on His own initiative, God sends His powerful grace into our fear and shame. In sending His Son, the Father shows He has never stopped loving us. Once we know that we are in fact loved, despite our sinning, we are free to acknowledge that we have sinned because we no longer are afraid. Fear is a horrible thing; it separates us from God, from others, and from our true selves. But it took the crucifixion to penetrate our fearful hearts with the good news that we are loved. In the first Adam, we lost the sense of God’s fatherly love; in the second Adam, this love is restored to our consciousness and we are set free.

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