Easter had to come because of one man. The first man. Of course, everyone of us since has confirmed that Easter had to be.

Whatever you believe happened in Eden with Adam and Eve it is clear that the Biblical story reminds us that Easter had to happen because our first parents doubted, disbelieved and disobeyed their Creator. Easter is God’s ultimate statement that God is loving and he is good but the intruder into Eden confronted Eve with the validity of this. Is God really good and loving? Afterall, isn’t he withholding something from you?

Sure, he made you in his image to have relationship, to think, to feel, to make choices, but what is he holding back so that you don’t become fully like him? Sure, the Creator gave you responsibility to steward the creation but what part of what is out there is he holding back? Sure, the Maker of Heaven and Earth made you to flourish, even blessed you and commanded you to multiply and fill the earth, but why is he restricting freedoms, putting limitations on liberties, marking boundaries to your bounty?

Easter seems a lot messier than Christmas. All that Good Friday brutality, pain, suffering and ugliness. All that loss, grief and separation.

All that pain started here in the garden with one man who watched his wife falter and stumble, who joined her in her folly, and then blamed her when things went wrong.

The first man deals quickly with our excuse that perhaps we’re the way we are because of our environment. If only things were better around us then our goodness would have a chance to shine. If only more of my needs were met. If only I didn’t feel guilty all the time. If only I could talk to God straight and have him tell me what he expects of me. The first man lived in a perfect environment with every need met and still he doubted, disbelieved and disobeyed.

Wish you had a better partner, neighbour, friend? Try being one. Before you worry about how much the poison inside has impacted the other take a moment to deal with the poison inside you.

There is something within the best of us, within the best of us in the best of environments, which chooses to reach for what we want over what God wants. We do that even on our own. We reach for more than what we should want. More food, more money, more pleasure, more experience, more work, more adventure. We want it all – or at least a little more than what we have.

God isn’t surprised. As Father, Son and Spirit he lived in perfect unity, love, harmony and joy. He didn’t need a thing. Not even us. Yet, he spoke a universe into being. Molded us from the elements of earth. And reached out to build a bond that would last through the ages. Like toddlers, our eyes caught the glitter of something other than the one who loves us and we moved away from the source of our life toward it. We still do that.

And so, Easter became essential. In fact, Easter was the plan all along. The God outside time and space planned to step into time and space to change what we couldn’t change.

When God brings his curse down on the serpent who deceived our first parents he says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heal.”[1]

So began the showdown that culminated in Easter. A showdown we envision every time we remember Easter.

Come again tomorrow as we look at another figure in history who reminds us that Easter was needed.

[1] Genesis 3:15 NIV 2011