Parents will often wonder where their toddlers learned to lie or how they came into the world so self-centered. It doesn’t need to be taught to them; it is inherent to human nature. Paul makes clear in Romans, “Sin entered the world through one man ... through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners” (5:12, 19). Of course, I am simply restating the doctrine of original sin, a core tenet of Christianity essential to Scripture.

But that is not the end of the Story, thank God. The first Adam was only “a pattern of the one to come” (Rom. 5:14). He would foreshadow another man, the head of a new race, the firstborn of a new creation, whose life would mean transformation to those who would become joined to him: “For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Christ, the Last Adam] the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).

A man comes down from heaven, slips into our world unnoticed, as Neo does in The Matrix, as Maximus does in Gladiator, as Wallace does in Braveheart. Yet he is no ordinary man, and his mission no ordinary mission. He comes as a substitute, a representative, as the destroyer of one system and the seed of something new. His death and resurrection break the power of the Matrix, release the prisoners, set the captives free. It is a historic fact. It really happened. And it is more than history. It is mythic in the first degree. Lewis said, “By becoming fact, it does not cease to be myth; that is the miracle.”

 

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