If God made us to live in relationship with Him through the very life He placed in us, what happened? How could that have changed?
The subject of sin is broad and deep and complicated, I suppose. So let’s just assume the fact of sin, the action and attitude that Adam and Eve had when they stepped outside the will of God. Remember that it was their choice to move into a territory or state of being apart from God. God had told them something and they chose to disobey. In fact, He told them very clearly that they would die.
But did they die? They didn’t fall down and stop moving. They didn’t stop breathing. They don’t seem to have died at all. So we reinterpret the simple words of God. What He meant, we say, was that they would die eventually. It took Adam 900 years to die, according to the Scriptures. 900 years later, the words of God happened just as He said. Really?
No. God told them something very specific. He said, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” In the day. What day? A day lasting 900 years? I don’t think so. I think it was in the same day, at the same time, the very moment. When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, the spiritual life of God that connected Adam with the Lord died. The light went out.
Since both Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, stepped outside the will of God, they both lost communion with Him. The life died in both of them. And they were no longer able to pass that spiritual life on to their children. What was supposed to be a wonderful uniting of all people to the heart of God didn’t happen.
The physical life continued, of course. What we see after the Garden is a testimony to the love and mercy of God. He did not destroy the people. He did not end humanity as a failed attempt at love. He had a wonderful plan in place that would welcome people back to a real and lasting relationship with Him. And He would use that plan to show us what love was all about.
But in the meantime, the only relationship any human could have with God was as two separate beings seeking to relate through the walls of sin and unbelief. We were the “walking dead.” The heart of God was something foreign and the love of God was so difficult to see. All we knew, apart from Him, was that something was seriously wrong. And many of us simply forgot even that.
So the life that was supposed to be in us, supposed to define us, was lost and we were lost. Adam and Eve, our ancestors, entered into that realm called, “Apart from God,” and humanity has been there ever since. The purpose of our existence, the reason for humanity, was lost on that day.
But God had a plan.