Reflections: December 19, 2020
Adam and Eve
By Bradley Drew
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number… standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Today the Church commemorates Adam and Eve, father and mother of the human race. Aren't they, though, the reason the world is in the mess that it is? Yes. But if Adam and Eve, created in righteousness, could cause such harm, how much more we who were conceived in sin? Perish the thought!
No, perish My own Son, says God. For rather than lose you, God would redeem you by sending His Son, another Adam: Adam 2.0. The first Adam, because of sin, we can call death. The second Adam, because of righteousness, we can call life. This second Adam, from His conception to His final breath, lived a life of perfect holiness for you and me. His death on the Cross proves He lived it for you and me. For Jesus didn't have any sin of His own to cause His death. Our sin did that. But, here's the promise of the Gospel: In causing Jesus to perish, our sin has lost its power and authority to cause us to perish.
"Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins" (Isaiah 40:2). Jesus is the white robe promised to us in the Gospel. It's why we will cry out on that day, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:10b) Yes, you will be among that multitude who cannot be numbered, though Revelation 7 gives the number at 144,000. You will be among that multitude because that is the promise of the Gospel, of Adam 2.0. Jesus is the promise!
144,000 is just picturesque language playing off God's number, 12, and the number for all of time, 1000. God's Old Testament Church (12 tribes) multiplied by God's New Testament Church (12 apostles) multiplied by time itself (1000) equals 144,000. No matter how scary the time, wherever God has His 12, there God has His people. And no one is missing. No one is lost. Not even you! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Behold a host, arrayed in white, Like thousand snowclad mountains bright! With palms they stand; Who is this band Before the throne of light? These are the saints of glorious fame, Who from the great affliction came And in the flood of Jesus' blood Are cleansed from guilt and shame. They now serve God both day and night; They sing their song in endless light. Their anthems ring As they all sing With angels shining bright. ("Behold a Host, Arrayed in White" LSB 676, st.1)
-Rev. Bradley Drew is the pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA.
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