As I child, I often wondered what God meant by "you shall surely die." Adam and Eve were walking and talking after they ate the fruit. Did God mean they would die a slow death? Or that they lost their "eternal" life? What was this death?
I had a song stuck in my head."Life without Jesus is like a donut. There is a hole in the middle of your heart." I learned it as a child in Sunday school.
But life without Jesus is not like a donut, not even one little bit. Life without Jesus is death. And death is nothing like a donut.
Adam and Eve chose death. The serpent counseled Eve to love herself. She should get to decide what was good and evil. She loved the
fruit hanging from the forbidden tree, more than she loved her God. So, she took, and she ate. She then gave it to Adam; he took, and he ate.
immediately. They died the moment they ate the fruit. No, Adam and Eve did not die a slow death. God said,
"in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Their eyes were opened, just as the serpent promised, unto death. They lost not only their eternal life but life—altogether.
Death was never walking beside your God in the Garden again.
Death was choosing to believe a lie, instead of the truth.
Death was seeing the bone of your bones, flesh of your flesh—ashamed.
Death was losing the bold, unhindered trust you once had in your friend.
Death was being afraid of your Father when he called—because you betrayed him.
Death was homelessness.
Death was hunger.
Death was losing both your sons, because your firstborn child killed his brother.
Death was hate, jealousy, pride, shame, fear.
The rest of Genesis echoed this death. And he died, and he died, and he died.
No. Death is not like a donut. The "hole" in our hearts are not holes. Our hearts are aching abysses of desires, universes of emptiness. We rebelled against our Father who made us. We betrayed him to please ourselves. Lost in sin, we are dead souls, shells full of dust.
So, Jesus wept.
Jesus wept as he stood before Lazarus' tomb. He wept not over Lazarus' physical death; he knew that Lazarus would rise again. Jesus was weeping for death—altogether. He was weeping for his broken people. Mary and the Jews—the flesh of his flesh, and the bones of his bones—were dead in their hate and jealousy and pride and shame and fear.
So, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and life. I am the door to life. I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die."
Soul, there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.