Genesis 3:10. And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
If Genesis 1 and 2 show us what living is supposed to look like, then Genesis 3 shows us what dying looks like. Genesis 3 tells the story of Adam and Eve’s choice to rebel against God and eat from the tree of knowledge. A choice that promised them divine understanding of good and evil, but in fulfilling this promise it brought with it alienation from God.
I heard you and I hid.
You see sin is a real thing. Sin is not just an imaginary concept or a social construct. It is an actual force that was released into the world and into our souls. It is something that now must be absorbed and carried until it is killed or it kills us. And as soon as Adam and Eve sinned they began to exhibit the signs of this death.
The signs of death?
- Fear (I was afraid).
- Shame (because I was naked).
- Hiding from God (I hid myself).
Each the result of real guilt over real sin. And with it real fear of real punishment.
It also brought real shame. Not just shame over what they’d done, but a deeper shame about who they had become. They don’t just try to cover up this one sin. They try to cover up themselves. Their shame deludes them into thinking they can hide from God. This is the truest sign of spiritual death.
Do you see these signs of death and dying in your own life? Are you afraid of God and his punishments? Are you ashamed of who you are and not just what you’ve done? Are you hiding from God? (btw – one of the best ways to hide from God is to hide in plain sight. Maybe at church or by being really, really, good. If you’re good enough maybe God will stay out of your garden.)
But Christ offers us a far better way to stop dying and start living again.
Superman reverses death.
Christ offers to us in himself the perfect love of God that casts out all fear. Love that comes to us in our union with Christ. Love that would die for us. And on the day Love died our very real guilt and our very real shame were put to death forever.
Unlike Adam, Jesus never looks at us and says to God, “the woman you gave to me made me sin.” Rather Jesus looks at us with compassion in his eyes and then turns to God and says “the bride that you gave me I will give my life for. I will put her shame to shame and cleanse her guilt with my everlasting love.”
This is “to live is Christ”: You are no longer guilty but innocent. You are no longer shamed but honored. You are no longer need to be afraid because you are forever loved. This means we can be ashamed of the what we do without being ashamed of who we are. And it means no more hiding. We are hidden IN God, not hidden FROM God. Now we can live openly in front of God in his presence. Confessing what we’ve done with the full assurance of a grace and kindness that will never let us go.
Do you feel like you’re not good enough for God or even others? How have you been hiding from God in fear and shame?
You in Christ
How did Christ’s dying and living for you remove your guilt? How does knowing that your guilt is gone begin to remove your shame?
Christ in you
How can you live openly before God today and stop hiding? Maybe start with honestly confessing the ways you’ve been hiding in the past.