We were made to be magnificent.
Human beings were the culmination of His creation. God lovingly, personally fashioned us from dust. Intentionally sculpted and gave us life. Beautiful…powerful…creative…intelligent…capable…we were built in the very image of God. We were especially designed for relationships: able to intimately know others, and able to walk with God.
Until it all fell apart.
Christy, you said you were going to do a series on rediscovering Jesus. What are you doing in the Garden of Eden?
This is where Jesus starts, friends. This is where the gospel begins!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” John 1:1-4.
Eden is where we first discover the nature of God and the nature of ourselves. It’s where we first experience grace. I’d go so far as to say that without the Garden, there is no Gospel. (And yes, I’m one of those foolish people who believe that Genesis 1-3 is a poetic retelling of actual events.)
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden? You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” Genesis 3:1, 4-5.
The problem wasn’t just that Adam and Eve disobeyed and ate the fruit. It’s never just about our outward actions. No. They doubted God’s character. Wondered if He was really good…if He was holding out on them. They believed the Enemy’s lie and chose to do it their own way.
The knowledge of good and evil consumed Adam and Eve. They realized they were naked. Tried to fix the problem with fig leaves. And ultimately hid from their Creator and Friend.
Does this sound familiar? We humans have been living like this ever since.
We still believe lies about God all the time. We still doubt His character. We still choose to go our own way. We continue to try and fix the brokenness ourselves. And we often hide ourselves from the Presence of God.
I hear people talk about how our “true self” is a wretched sinner. That brokenness is our real identity. I also hear other people violently react to that teaching.
I believe that our “true self” is the magnificent creation we were made to be. Remnants of our magnificence remain even now, but it is mangled and perverted because of the sin that is also a part of us. This is the nature of our humanity. We glimpse the potential, and we come face to face with the perversion every day.
If He was really the God of anger and punishment that some people make Him out to be, God would have killed Adam and Eve and started over. He had every right to do so. They broke the rule and destroyed His perfect creation. He had promised death if they chose to disobey.
Instead, God sought them. He called to them. He drew them out of hiding and to Himself.
“But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9.
God reached out to His broken, magnificent creations with questions He already knew the answer to. In gentleness and love He gave consequences for their disobedience. There had to be consequences. But amid the curse, there was also a promise. A man who would someday destroy the power of the serpent. And instead of guaranteed death falling on Adam and Eve, it fell on the animals God used to make clothing for them. A picture of a Savior who would one day substitute His life for ours.
So here is the question…who is this God in the Garden? A God who has feet to walk with the people He created and footsteps that they can hear? A God who seeks the broken? Does He sound familiar to you?
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” Luke 19:10.
Think on this for a minute. Let it soak in. What does this mean for you?
It makes me love Jesus even more…through tears. 🙂 What an amazing, powerful, loving God we have the privilege to know!