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Genesis 3:19: By The Sweat Of Your Face You Shall Eat Bread, Till You Return To The Ground, For Out Of It You Were Taken

Genesis 3:19
[19] By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (ESV)

These words are given to the first man, Adam, in the Garden of Eden. Adam had just sinned against God by eating the fruit that was forbidden to him. Struggle would be a part of every man’s life because of the sin that Adam committed. There is something very humbling about the dust that we will all return to. Because of sin, there is death.

Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are, in fact, dust. Our lives are short. They will involve labor, struggle, sorrow, pain, grief, sickness, and ultimately death. There is no way around it. Part of preparing our hearts to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to remind ourselves that our sin separated us from the bliss of right relationship with God.

Adam learned the hard lesson that his sin would separate him from God. Thankfully, in the Garden, God promised that through the seed of the woman a Messiah would be born, who would ultimately put the serpent under eternal judgment. For the rest of his life he would be looking forward to the promise of Jesus Christ.

An identity with our humanity helps us to appreciate the wonder of our Savior, who paid the penalty for our sin at the cross. He then rose from the dead, forever defeating death for all those who would place their faith in him. It was Adam’s sin, and by extension, all of our sin, that created the need for our Savior to come to earth for our salvation. Because of Adam’s sin, we have the love of the Savior. We would do well to grieve over our sin on Ash Wednesday.

As you consider your life of toil, remember that it was the sin that Adam committed that brought death. With every sin, there comes a consequence.