The Bible says that Adam and Eve were disobedient. That’s how we humans are. But Jesus was very different: He was obedient to the point of death. His sacrifice made it possible that human beings can become more and more like Jesus.
On 21 March 2021 Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a divine service in Lugano in Switzerland, in which he compared Adam’s disobedience with the obedience of Jesus. He based his sermon on Romans 5: 19: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
Upon Adam’s disobedience followed Jesus’ sacrifice
The Chief Apostle began by explaining that Jesus’ death on the cross was a testimony of God’s love for mankind. Jesus wanted to show His solidarity with the afflicted and the dying: “He wanted to show mankind: I am by your side, I am with you. Everything you experience and go through I also go through.” His death on the cross opened up the way for mankind to come to God. “He died for us so that we could have salvation.”
Adam and Eve, the Chief Apostle said, fell into sin because they were disobedient. “First of all, they did not trust and believe in the word of God. Secondly, they wanted to become like God. They did not want to be subject to God, but wanted to decide for themselves what was good or bad for them. They wanted to be independent of God.”
And thus man subordinated himself to evil. The death of Jesus was therefore not a punishment, the Chief Apostle made clear: “There were once Christians who thought that God had been offended by man’s fall into sin and that mankind therefore had to be punished. This is why Christ had to die; to punish mankind.” But this does not agree with our image of God today. As a matter of fact, His death was paid as a ransom to free people from the dominion of evil.
The obedience of Jesus
The Chief Apostle went on to point out that Jesus’ obedience was demonstrated in many ways. “He had complete trust in the word of God,” he explained. “In the worst situation He believed God and trusted in Him. He had a humble attitude towards God. He was always obedient and said, ‘Your will be done.’”
Nothing, not death, not threats, not fear could have kept Jesus from obeying His Father. “He remained obedient. He loved God and His relationship with God meant more to Him than His own life.”
Nor could anything have kept Jesus from loving mankind. “He loved to the end! This is how He was able to overcome evil and break the power of evil.”
How can we become righteous?
At the end of his sermon, the Chief Apostle then asked the celebrated question: how can man be made righteous before God? He immediately clarified: “Not through his own merit or through good works. Even the best person, who has done nothing but good all his or her life, will not be justified through this, but alone through God.” Neither can suffering, hardship, and death achieve righteousness before God. Alone faith in Jesus Christ and trust in Him can do that. Righteousness is achieved by those who
- trust in the love of God: “We firmly believe that He loves us.”
- are obedient: “We trust in the love of God, even if we don’t understand anything.”
- place their thoughts under God’s: “We want to devote ourselves to God completely.”
- keep the commandment of love: “We believe in His love and want to love our neighbour.”