You Win!

Genesis 3:8-15

When you look into the mirror, do you ever see the face of a loser? What I mean is, are you happy with yourself? Do you have regrets? Are you content with your life? I know that I have sometimes felt like a loser. What about you? It’s not uncommon to feel like a loser. In fact, even people who are wealthy or successful, or beautiful, even they feel like losers from time to time. And in a certain sense, all of us should feel like losers because not one of us have kept the law of God perfectly. We have failed. We have lost in too many ways to count. And this losing streak began in the Garden of Eden. It began when the devil got Adam and Eve to doubt God’s goodness. Did he really say that you should not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? You will not certainly die. It’s fine. Adam and Eve bought what the devil, the serpent, was selling, didn’t they? They took that forbidden fruit and they became aware of evil. And so for the first time in their lives, they felt like losers. And then they hear God walking by in the garden. And they hide from him. Now, let’s pause for a moment and think about how sad this is. At this moment in history, God was still walking and talking with human beings. Adam and Eve didn’t have to go looking for God. They had full access to him. They had full access to him because their relationship with him was good. It was perfect. But they ruined it. They forfeited what every human looks for, peace and contentment. Ever since then, human beings have tried to find peace and contentment in some way or another. But they had it. They had it and they threw it all away. They became sinful and now they would die. Furthermore, they would lose the ability to see God, to speak with him face to face. Because only perfection can look upon perfection. That is why you and I, they’re descendants, that is why we cannot see God. For if we were to see his holiness, we wouldn’t be able to handle it. We would die on the spot. That is why he communicates to us through his word instead. But before they lose the ability to see God, God comes to them and gives them an opportunity to confess their wrongdoing. He says, “Where are you?” Now, it’s not that God didn’t know where they were, but he was putting the ball in their court, so to speak. He was giving them a chance to come clean. You may have heard this analogy before, but it’s like when a mother tells her young son not to take a cookie from the cookie jar before dinner. But of course, the son doesn’t listen and he takes a cookie from that cookie jar and now chocolate is smeared all over his face. So the evidence is as clear as day. But then the mom comes and she asks, “Did you take a cookie from the cookie jar?” She knows that he did, but what is she doing? She’s being gentle and patient, and she’s allowing him the chance to come clean. God is doing the same thing here in the Garden of Eden when he asks, “Where are you?” Remember, Adam and Eve had just broken God’s command. They just slapped God in the face. But God doesn’t smite them right on the spot, though he had every right to do so. Instead, he comes with gentleness and patience. What grace. So first he comes to Adam, and Adam makes the excuse to come clean. Adam makes the excuse that he was afraid because he was naked. Adam knew that he did wrong by taking the fruit, but instead of admitting that, he says, “I’m afraid because I’m naked.” So then God asks him, “Who told you that you were naked?” And even then, he still doesn’t come clean. Instead, he throws both Eve and God under the bus. The woman that you put here with me, she made me do it. Epic fail. Adam failed in his responsibility as the leader. Sound familiar? I don’t know about you, but I have not always lived the way that God has created me to be. So next, God goes to Eve, and he asks her, “What is this that you have done?” And what does she do? Neither does she take responsibility for her actions. The serpent tricked me. Wow. What losers. What idiots. But then what does God do next? God gives them good news. Yes. He graciously gives them the message of hope and love. And salvation. He gives them the promise of Jesus, the promise of victory. Here in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15, God gives human beings for the first time the promise that Jesus will come to fix their massive problem of sin, death, and the devil. You see, the devil had made himself friends with us human beings by getting us to doubt and disobey God. So God was now going to put enmity between us and the devil. In other words, he was going to make us enemies so that God could reestablish the good relationship that he had with us in the beginning. And Jesus would be the one to reestablish that relationship, to reconcile both God and man. And while Jesus was doing that, the devil would try to fight back. He would strike at his heel, but ultimately to no avail, for Jesus would win at the end. Jesus would crush his head. And at the cross, Jesus did just that. At the cross, Jesus was punished for all the times that you and I lost in life. He was whipped, beaten, and crucified so that you and I would not have to be losers. Because of Jesus, God now considers you winners. Your sins have been forgiven. So then, the devil has nothing on us. He can’t accuse us of anything. The only loser is him. But you, my friends, you are not a loser. Because God considered you worth the price of his own blood. And how much is the blood of God worth? Everything. You, my friends, are worth everything. You see, self-esteem does not really exist. Because esteem, and worth, do not come from within. Our esteem, our worth, comes from outside of us. It comes from God and only God. And guess what? God appraised you and me with the price tag of Jesus’ holy blood. So then, how can you ever be considered worthless? How can you ever be considered a loser? You, my friends, are winners. You are winners because Jesus has won. He defeated death. And so will we. Knowing this is what brings us true joy and lasting peace. Jesus wins. This is the central message of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Boast in that. You are winners because of Jesus Christ our Lord. So no matter what we may think of ourselves from time to time, or what others may say, objectively speaking, you are winners because of Jesus. So when we look into that mirror, we see the face of a winner. Amen? Amen.