In this passage Paul contrasts the death which we received from Adam and the life which we receive from Christ. Death is separation, and separation is painful. Physical death means a tough separation from those we love, but spiritual death means separation from God.
Last week I went to visit my mother, age 89, and also saw several friends from high school whom I only see once a year. These friends and family members and I care about each other but must be separated by distance. Separations may be painful for many different reasons. Perhaps the friendships suffer from hurt or just from neglect. We loose touch with people with whom we were once close. Now that it’s summer we think back to childhood summers and wonder where our playmates are now.
Paul reminds his readers that we, all of us, were separated from God. An impossible distance separated us. But because of the work of Christ; Paul says that sin (and the separation from God it brings) “doesn’t have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace” (verse 20, 21, The Message).
Sometimes, in this life, we are graced with reunions. Time and distance fall away and we can enjoy more summer days together. But the best reunion we are enjoying now. We have God. Paul explains in this passage how though Adam’s acts brought us death and separation, Christ’s work on the cross brought us life and eternal reunion with God. Thank you, Jesus.