The Great Playwright has composed a drama and written a wonderful part especially for us to play; and, like a spoiled and silly child, we have torn up the script and smirked our way through a self-serving but ultimately self-destructive plot of our own.
Within that story, “sin” becomes the refusal of humans to play their part in God’s purposes for creation as a whole. It is a vocational failure as much as what we call a moral failure.
This vocational failure, choosing to worship the creature rather than the Creator, is the choice of death over life. This is why “sin” and “death” are so inextricably intertwined in biblical thinking. The Old Testament teaches that if you worship idols, and you’ll go into exile. Obey the serpent’s voice, and you will forfeit the right to the Tree of Life. You can’t have it both ways.
Think about the Ten Commandments.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. (Deuteronomy 5 v 6 – 7)
The first commandment is to worship God alone. Think about how Jesus summed up all the commandments:
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22 v 36 – 40)
Think about Pauls’ encouragement to worship:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12 v 1)
We have failed in our calling, which is to worship God alone in every area of our lives. In the words of the Apostle Paul:
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 7 v 24)
When John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan River, he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared,
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).