Grace in the Garden

We are coming to the most important part of what I want to explore, as we look back to the beginning. Remember that we are taking this trip back to the garden because if we are really going to believe that the things I claim in my first post What if He Loved You Enough to Die for You are true, then we need to see that they have been true since creation.

We have seen that God knew everything we were ever going to do, and He created us anyway. And we watched the enemy in the garden trick Eve (and us) into not trusting God. Today, let's take in how God responds.

Before we do that though, it's important to realize that Jesus was there. Sometimes, it's easy to forget that Jesus has been there since the beginning, which also means He knew what we would do, what it would cost Him, and He did it anyway.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:1-5

The Word = Jesus

Jesus was there. He knew. He did it anyway.

Let that sink in. You are so valuable to Him. He loves you so much!

What did Adam and Eve do after they ate the fruit?

"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden." Genesis 3:7-8

Oh, how painfully human their reaction is. Isn't that what we do? Don't we try to cover up our sins? Don't we try to hide from God? I imagine they were scared, and ashamed. But the reality is, we can't hide from God, and we don't need to.

Let's see how God reacts.

Please take a minute to read Genesis 3 and see what God says and does.

If you are anything like me, you have pictured God screaming and yelling at Adam and Eve as He asks them what they have done, and dishes out punishment after punishment and curse after curse, then banishes them from the garden.

But I've come to believe His tone was more of a broken hearted, "what have you done?" I imagine it was more of a "you have no idea what you have done, the pain it's going to cost you, and what it's going to cost me to rescue you."

Yes, there were consequences to their actions. Of course there were. We know that God is a just God and He cannot leave sin unpunished. And aren't the consequences we give our kids more serious when what they have done is dangerous?

But there is another reason that God couldn't just say, "oh it's okay" and let them stay in the garden. I came to this realization when reading The Jesus Storybook Bible to my kids. He couldn't leave them there because they now had the knowledge of good and evil. Pain, sin, and tears had entered the world, and if He left them in the garden they might "...take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." Genesis 3:23. He loves us too much to let us live in this world the way that it is forever.

He banished them from the garden to protect them, to protect us. But He didn't just send them out naked and alone.

Before He banished them, "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them" Genesis 3:20. An innocent lamb had to die, and shed his blood in order to cover the sin of Adam and Eve. Then He gave them clothes that were better than the ones they tried to create for themselves, and, I believe, sadly sent them from the garden.

Do you see the grace? Let's look a little deeper at when God is handing down the curses to Satan. By the way, I do believe He was probably yelling at Satan, since he is the one seeking to "steal, kill and destroy" the ones God loves.

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:15

God tells us His plan right here. Jesus is coming. He's going to crush Satan, and He's going to rescue us. And that is what the entire rest of the Bible is about. It's about God's love for us, and His plan to rescue us.

He is persuing you. He loves you. He knows all that you have done, and ever will do. He still loves you and has been persuing you since the beginning of creation. He wants to rescue you. Will you let Him?

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