During the Easter Proclamation at the Easter Vigil we pray, “O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault, that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!” Maybe you’ve heard this and thought to yourself, “Necessary sin? Happy fault?” How could we be happy about the Fall that brought original sin to humanity?
As part of the Genesis Series on The Faith Explained Cale Clarke pointed out that God’s plan for salvation through Christ was not His Plan B, but can be seen from the beginning.
“The Gospel is even in the first book of the Bible,” Cale said. “The book of Genesis is called the ‘protoevangelium’ which means the first Gospel.”
Cale acknowledged that many people think that our salvation through Christ was a backup plan. Adam and Eve messed everything up and so Jesus had to come and fix it Himself. If Adam and Eve had never sinned in the first place then things would be better and Jesus would not have had to die for us. But Cale pointed out that is not the case at all.
“Now, don’t get me wrong,” he clarified. “God does, in fact, save us through Christ. But that was the plan all along. This was not a surprise to God that human beings in their frailty fell into sin.”
Cale pointed to the writings of St. Irenaus, who said of Jesus, “For inasmuch as He had a pre-existence as a saving Being, it was necessary that what might be saved should also be called into existence, in order that the Being who saves should not exist in vain.”
“This is amazing,” Cale said. “Jesus comes into the world as a Savior. And this was always, always the design of God. That’s one of the reasons why we’re here. God created humanity so that Christ could save us, sanctify us, make us love Him and bring us to heaven to live with Him forever.”
It’s tempting to blame Adam and Eve for our propensity to fall into sin, but that is looking at it from a human perspective. In fact, when Adam and Eve fell into sin the first thing they did was blame each other and even God! But if we look at Genesis through the eyes of God we see that God can bring life, wholeness, and holiness even through our sinful nature.
“We can’t blame Adam and Eve for our sins,” Cale said. “We have to take responsibility for our sins. That’s why we pray the Confiteor at Mass ‘Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.'”
“God says yes it’s your fault, but I’ve got a plan. … He’s got a plan for you and He’s got a plan for me. And if we trust in Him and remain faithful to Him, He’s going to bring it to fruition.”