“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
The last and most severe curse pronounced on humanity here in Genesis 3 is the pronouncement of the death penalty. Whereas the serpent had tried to convince Eve that they would “not surely die” (Genesis 3:4) as a result of disobeying God, God remained consistent. When He first put Adam in the garden, He decreed that the penalty of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree would be death (Genesis 2:17). Because of their sin, they would die and return to “dust” (decompose).
This “curse” applies to each and every human being who has ever lived (except Jesus Christ). The apostle Paul, in the book of Romans, explains more fully how this curse operates. In Romans 6:23, he explains: “For the wages of sin is death.” This death penalty went into effect when Adam and Eve sinned and applies to all human beings, because all have sinned (Romans 3:23). Sin is defined as “the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4, King James Version).
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they transgressed God’s law. We also symbolically eat of that same fruit every time we break God’s law.
Thankfully, just as God decreed death to be the penalty of sin, He has decreed there is a way to be released from that penalty! This concept is called forgiveness and remission in the Bible and follows genuine repentance. To have sins forgiven and the death penalty removed, it is necessary that the death penalty be paid by another death, for “without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
This was pictured, symbolically, through the sacrifice of animals under the Old Covenant system in ancient Israel (Hebrews 10:3-4). But the animal sacrifice system only foreshadowed the ultimate path to forgiveness that would be made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Read Hebrews 9:16 through 10:18 to learn more about this incredible truth.
To learn more about animal sacrifices and the ultimate Sacrifice for sin, read “Animal Sacrifices Prefigured Christ.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Cut Off From the Tree of Life.”