When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they “became like God”, but not in a good way (ironically they were already like God in a good way as his image bearers!). The snake’s words were true in one sense but therein lay their despicable deceptiveness. Like the emperor Midas (the one who wished that all he touched turned to gold) the realisation of their desire turned out to be a curse. They became like God considering themselves to be the source of meaning, love, hope, power, morality, justice, provision, self, identity etc. They put themselves in God’s place but in so doing they cut themselves off from all the things they wanted most: meaning, love, hope, power, morality, justice, provision, self, identity etc.
The question is did they realise their mistake? If they did could they have got God back and everything they had lost? When we read the story as an observer it seems obvious but they don’t seem to see it. What about us now? Do we realise what we lose by putting ourselves in God’s place? Maybe we don’t even realise we are doing it. But the good news is that if we do twig what is going on there is a way to undo the mess we are in.
We recognise what we have done when we recognise that Jesus is Lord (in the Old Testament, Yahweh, “God” sense of the word). But wonderfully he is not just our Lord but our saviour and through faith in him we can be accepted back into loving life sustaining relationship with him. But not just the one we lost, an even better one. As sons and daughters. Adam and eve thought God was holding out on them. As it turned out he was way better than they could have dreamed of. Now in Jesus the meaning is magnified, love goes deeper, hope is certain, morality is attainable, and so on. What’s more, through faith in Jesus we do become “like God” in an even better sense. Our lives are hidden in Christ, our identity is in him, and we are transformed to be like him.