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Archive for April 24th, 2011

The first man and woman were naked in the Garden.  There was no shame because both were created in God’s perfect image.  But, when Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God, they fell from that perfect image and were no longer righteous (holy) in the sight of God.  They lost their pure and trusting relationship with God.

Sin distorted what God created.  The man and woman no longer saw each other with perfect eyes or experienced a perfect relationship.  Eve tried to cover her nakedness with leaves.   But, God said a bikini of fig leaves wasn’t enough.  What she did with her own hands wasn’t enough.  Trying to partially cover herself wasn’t enough.

The consequences of sin changed everything for men, women, and all of their children.  Today, we are deceived by our distorted ideas of right and wrong.  We are arrogant and immodest.  But, God still says that a bikini of fig leaves isn’t enough.

So, is that it?  Does God just sit in His heaven and count our sins against us?   When sin exposed nakedness and spoiled a perfect relationship between God and his creation, did He abandon us all?  Did He say, I am Holy.  You are not.  I am finished with you.   No.

God had mercy.  The Creator of life had a plan that would reconcile sinful people with a Holy God.  Adam and Eve could no longer stay in the Garden, but God did not send them naked or without hope into a changed world.   He made a promise… and then He covered them with garments of clothing made by His own hands.  The promise was a Savior from sin.  The clothing was really more than just animal skins.

God’s mercy required sacrifice and special clothes.  We can think of that sacrifice and “robe of righteousness” today.  On Good Friday, we remember that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  There is nothing we can do to cover our sin.  But, thanks be to God!  Adam and Eve did not have to despair, and neither do we!  In mercy, God clothes those whom He loves.  We are clothed in righteousness at our baptism.  We are clothed in righteousness when we hear the Gospel and the Holy Spirit works faith.

Physical clothing reminds us of our sinful condition.  But, the clothes we wear also remind us of God’s mercy.  When God covered Adam and Eve, He sacrificed an animal.  This first shedding of blood in the Bible points us toward God’s ultimate shedding of Jesus’ blood on the Cross.  Every time we get dressed, we can remember that God has “clothed [us] with garments of salvation” and “wrapped [us] with a robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).

The covering of our sins by Christ on Good Friday was not partial, like a bikini of fig leaves.  It was complete.

Makes me think differently about getting dressed.

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