Dereliction of Duty

There is a scene in the Movie “Saving Private Ryan” that has always stuck with me. Its the one where an American soldier, fully armed and able, watches an enemy kill one of his comrads during a hand to had fight. Presumably paralyzed by fear he simply stands there unable or unwilling to help and then latter goes on to murder the captured German soldier in cold blood. The American soldier becomes, in effect, just like the enemy. 

Last night I was reading a commentary on Leviticus. The author has been doing an excellent job of drawing parallels between the Temple and The Garden of Eden and between Adams service as a Priest and the Levitical High Priestly service. Good stuff though its well plowed ground.

There is one question raised in the book (“Who Shall Ascend to The Mountain of The Lord by L. Michael Morales) sort of as an aside, that I find really insightful. It goes back to the Garden and Adam’s fall. The question is this: “What if Adam did what he was supposed to do?” For like the Soldier in “Saving Private Ryan” he was in a place to do what no one else could have done and save the day. Being still sinless and presumably acceptable to God why did not Adam offer himself as a sin offering on behalf Eve? in other words why didn’t he act in a Priestly fashion and so save not only the day but the whole of creation? We will of course probably never know the answer to the question but its clear that when faced with saving Eve or joining her, Adam chose the latter. 

Humanity is unable to save itself, which brings us to the The Second Adam. Jesus Christ, The One Who did what no one else could do and offered Himself, as a substitute, not only for Eve but also for Adam and so for the whole race. 

Published by Fr. Rogers Meredith

I am an Anglican Priest Canonically Resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth , Anglican Church of North America. .

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