January 10, 2022 - The Sin Problem

As humans we’ve built great empires, have harnessed electromagnetism, have explored the nooks and crannies of atoms, have created wonderful works of art, and have even made machines that can detect if a person is lying. And if time should last another hundred years, we’d no doubt accomplish many other incredible scientific feats that would astonish this generation just as this generation’s feats would have astonished previous ones.


But even if we survived another thousand years here, we’d come no closer to solving the problem of sin and its ultimate consequences, death, than did any of the previous generations for all of earth’s history.


Not that we haven’t tried, though.


TIME magazine ran a cover article in 2013 titled, “Can Google Solve Death?” The subhead read: “The search giant is launching a venture to extend the human life span. That would be crazy—if it weren’t Google.”[1]


Extending the human life span is one thing (giving up Bloody Marys for wheatgrass juice would do the trick, too), but these few extra years are as far from solving death as adding three inches to a yard is from infinity. Another few years, or decades, would be fine (if you could avoid Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, arthritis, etc. along the way) but longevity isn’t immortality.


So bad is the problem, in fact, that only this could solve it: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-7).


This is what it cost to solve the problem of sin: the self-sacrifice of the one who was “equal with God,” Jesus Christ. That is, so bad, so deep, was the rupture caused by sin, that it was impossible for humans to solve it. And so God had to.


And solve it He did, which is why we have this promise: “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ ” (1 Corinthians 15:54,55).

[1] TIME, September 30, 2013