When Sin’s Check Comes Due
If there’s one lesson the residents of Storybrooke on ABC television’s hit show “Once Upon a Time” have learned, it’s that magic always comes with a price. You might call it the Disney-fied version of the old saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” It’s an important lesson, one that most of us have a hard time accepting, but a lesson the Bible teaches again and again. In the parlance of Scripture, the lesson is: Sin always comes with a price.

Turn back to the beginning of time, to the dawn of our race. Watch as Eve, in Genesis 3, hands the forbidden fruit to Adam. See him take it to his lips. Look closely as the light of innocence is extinguished from their eyes. Sin already is beginning to exact its price. What do they do? They do what we naturally do in similar moments.

Cover up the damage. For Adam and Eve, that meant sewing together fig leaves, which couldn’t have been an easy task (v. 3:7). Imagine the panic that must have gripped them in those first frenzied moments after their evil deed was done. Think of the sick feeling in the pits of their stomachs. You know the one. It’s what causes you to look over your shoulder immediately to see if anyone’s watching, then try to prop it all back up as if nothing happened.

As a boy, I enjoyed putting together model cars. My bedroom shelves were a virtual parking lot, and that posed a problem for my mom. She often complained of how hard it was to dust around them. She didn’t know how to move them without having something fall off a shelf. I told her I’d do the dusting, but I’ll never forget the afternoon I came home from school to find mom in full-on spring cleaning mode. She was standing at my bedroom desk with glue on her fingers and smudged prints on one of my prized models. “When I moved it, this thing came off,” she explained, “but I tried to fix it.” Don’t we all? We try to piece it together well enough until we can…

Get out of there (vv. 3:8-9)! Run! Hide! If they can’t see you, they can’t blame you. Isn’t that what we like to think?

When my great-aunt Geneva was a little girl, living out in the country, her father, Bert, told her not to play in the hayloft. “Don’t let me see you climbing up there,” he warned. Geneva knew it was wrong, but something about that old loft captivated her. As Bert later said, he walked into the barn one day to find his little girl climbing the ladder with her eyes closed. If she couldn’t see him, she had reasoned, he wouldn’t be able to see her. How childish, and yet how like us! Get out of there. When that doesn’t work…

Shift the blame (vv. 3:10-13). Adam blamed Eve and, indirectly, God. Eve blamed the serpent. You always can find someone if you look hard enough from the dog who ate your homework to your parents who messed you up. “Blaming others is an act of refusing to take responsibility,” wrote Dee Dee Artner. “When a person can’t accept the fact or the reality, they blame another person or the situation instead of taking responsibility.”

Now I’m not saying the blame is always solely yours. Sometimes others do play roles in our transgressions. God Himself acknowledged the serpent played a role in Adam and Eve’s failure, and he would suffer accordingly (v. 3:14); but that still didn’t excuse them—or us. Sin always comes with a price.

The good news, announced for the first time in the Bible in Genesis 3:15, is that Jesus Christ, seed of the woman and Son of God, has paid sin’s price. He was bruised on Calvary but crushed the tempter’s head three days later. He came, gave His life, and rose from the dead to set right what Adam and Eve set wrong long ago. Sin always leaves a stain, but His blood can wash it white as snow.

Share This On: