“God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life …” (Genesis 2:7 KJV). However, man fell into sin, and God cursed him saying, “you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19 ESV). We all share the same fate as the first man. In Adam all die.
In Adam we have all been one,
One huge rebellious man;
We all have fled that evening voice
That sought us as we ran.
“God created man in his own image …” (Genesis 1:27 ESV). But after sin, Adam’s children were born, not in the image of God, but in the image of Adam. (Genesis 5:3). Adam’s son Cain murdered his brother Abel.
We fled Thee, and in losing Thee
We lost our brother too;
Each singly sought and claimed his own;
Each man his brother slew.
Jesus Christ came in our flesh. (Hebrews 2:14). He was our brother, but we crucified him. Like Cain, we killed our brother.
But Thy strong love, it sought us still
And sent Thine only Son
That we might hear His Shepherd’s voice
And, hearing Him, be one.
On Ash Wednesday, Christians receive ashes on their foreheads in the shape of a cross as a visual reminder of the consequences of sin. From the ground we were created, and to the ground we will return: “earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” (Book of Common Prayer, burial).
O Thou who, when we loved Thee not,
Didst love and save us all,
Thou great Good Shepherd of mankind,
O hear us when we call.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV). The Christian Church is the Body of Christ. As he rose from the dead and conquered sin and death, in him so shall we.
Send us Thy Spirit, teach us truth;
Thou Son, O set us free
From fancied wisdom, self-sought ways,
To make us one in Thee.
— “In Adam We Have All Been One,” LSB, 569:1-5.