Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. (ESV)
The young couple emerged from the local hospital beaming with pride. They were bringing home their newborn child. They had the appropriate car seat, stroller, and clothing for their precious bundle. The next weeks and months would be full of joy. They would celebrate every new noise and every discovery that their delightful offspring would make.
Then it happened. That precious boy displayed his defiance of his parents. He was playing with the electrical cord in the living room. His mother gently took the cord out of his mouth. The fit of rage that ensued terrified the young parents. How could this happen? Where did all this anger come from? How could their child disobey their simple instruction not to put electrical cords in your mouth?
The reality is that every human being is born with a nature that rebels against authority. From a very early age we discover that sin reigns in all of us. Sin reigns and brings death. Adam received direct instruction concerning God's Law. Moses also received direct instruction concerning God's Law. Yet, even those who received no such instruction still sinned.
Paul is establishing for us a principle that we need to fundamentally understand. Death is the ultimate consequence of sin. We would like to think that we are somehow exempt from this principle but none of us are. Even our precious children display at a very early age that they are made of the same death-producing sinful nature as every other member of the human race.
We are in all in the same boat. Our propensity toward rebellion is universal. We are stained with a sinful nature. We need a Savior.