Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fallen Angel

Thursday, March 5, 2015
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”  “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.  “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat.  God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”  “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.  “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”  The woman was convinced.  She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her.  So she took some of the fruit and ate it.  Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.  At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.  So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.     Genesis 3:1-7 (NLT)
In the 1998 movie City of Angels[2] Nicholas Cage plays Seth, an angel who is fascinated with human beings' ability to enjoy the sensations of the flesh.  He falls in love with Maggie, a surgeon (played by Meg Ryan).  Seth chooses to fall; he chooses to become a human, giving up his angelic powers, all because of his desire for Maggie.

After his fall, and only one day with Maggie, she is killed in a tragic accident.  Seth is heartbroken and angry.  He experiences the agony of loss, which before, as an angel, he could simply watch dispassionately.  Where once he was merely a spectator, Seth, the human, with all that mortality brings, finds it is all just too real. 

Seth experiences all of the fall.

Seth's angel friend, "Cassiel" appears to him to aid Seth in his grief.  Cassiel is also curious.  He asks, "What is it like, Seth, being human?"  He also asks about Seth's relationship with Maggie:  "Was it worth it?"  "Would you have done it [fall] if you knew it would end so soon?" 

Seth's answer is the whole point of the movie.  He replies, "I would rather have one breath of her hair, one kiss from her mouth, one touch from her hand – than an eternity without her."

And it is the fallen angel’s answer which defines the most troubling aspect of our human nature – that with which we are both born, and cursed; we desire our sin; it desires us, and we are powerless to overcome it

We choose our sin.  Given a perfect environment, the absence of sin and even the influence of wrong, the first Adam chose his sin. 

And we have been doing it ever since!

That is why we must have a Savior. 

Now…if that was the end of the story you and I would be most miserable.  But the story turns entirely in a Golgotha minute.  Christ, crucified, buried, resurrected and coming again is the real ending. 

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God!  He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.     1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (NLT)
And that is what turns the fall on its ear!

For You Today

God never intended Adam or any of us to live in the defeat and despair we all choose.
But now we don’t have to; remember your victory is in Christ Jesus; go live it!

[1] Title Image: Gustave Doré, via Wikimedia Commons
[2] ©Warner Bros.

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