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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.”—Genesis 3:6 NLT
This is as bad as it gets. In context, this is the exact moment when mankind decided to disobey God by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and by doing so, sin was introduced into God’s perfect creation. It’s here where humanity fell and paradise was lost.
It’s also right here where sin first stormed the human soul and put the entire race at odds with God. Notice the immediate effects: “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves” (Genesis 3:7 NLT).
Sin wastes no time; it goes to work instantly. As their innocence is stripped away from them, they’re filled with shame at the awareness of their nakedness. This is what sin does: It robs us of our innocence before God to the point that we become consumed with a sense of guilt and shame.
Interestingly enough, they react to these effects of sin just as quickly by attempting to cover themselves with fig leaves. There’s a powerful picture taking shape here, one we can all relate to. We sense all is not well between us and God, we feel guilt and shame, and in an attempt to quiet these sensations, we set about to do something to cover ourselves up.
We cover ourselves with a lot of different things¬—possessions, stimulants that provide a passing sensation, the respect of others, and even religious activity. But the underlying instinct is the same: to cover up the fact that underneath it all we’re not right!
If the story ended there, humanity would be trapped in an endless loop of guilt, frustration, and hopeless desperation. We would remain enemies of the very God we were created to inherently long for.
Fortunately, God enters the tragedy! He intervenes by assessing the situation. While sin has done its damage, it isn’t irreparable. A promise is given by God to the man and woman: “I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15 NLT).
Some important things need to be noted here. First, God speaks to Satan, who had taken the form of a serpent and enticed the man and woman to sin. God promises that an offspring would come from the woman who would eventually crush Satan’s head, despite being wounded in the process. In hindsight, we see this is foretelling the cross, which was Christ’s instrument of victory over the power Satan wielded over mankind: “He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross” (Colossians 2:15 NLT).
But in this promise, there is also the promise that God would not discard the human race, despite its rebellion. He would actually use humanity, wielding it to produce the deliverer who would bring and end to Satan’s reign.
We can’t understate the importance of this promise or the impact it must have had on the man and the woman as they stood before God, guilt-ridden and ashamed of what they had done. They had sinned, but the result would not result in hopeless condemnation. There was a way to redemption, a way to regain paradise—this word of promise was the word of salvation to them.
The Bible then goes on to give us an interesting detail that we cannot miss: “Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live” (Genesis 3:20 NLT).
If you’re like me, you sort of assumed that God was the one who named Eve. But that isn’t the case. Eve isn’t actually named in the Bible until this very moment as Adam names her, and there’s a profound meaning in this.
Remember, God had just promised them that their sin would not be a dead end for the human race. Despite the death produced by sin, life would continue and ultimately prevail. And this is why Eve’s name is so significant. Why? Because it literally means life-giver.
What’s going on here? By naming Eve, Adam is essentially affirming what God had just declared to them. This name is Adam’s way of saying, “God, I believe what You have said, I trust in Your promise, and I am demonstrating this by identifying my wife according to what You’ve said . . . the source of the life to come.” Eve’s name was a confession of faith.
The plot thickens, though, in the very next verse as God responds to Adam’s faith in His promise: “And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife” (Genesis 3:21 NLT).
Remember how all of this started. Remember Adam and Eve’s instinctive reaction to their sin. They tried to cover themselves with leaves. It doesn’t take much imagination to understand that this wasn’t an adequate solution.
Something else was needed to cover their nakedness. God knew what was necessary and provided it. He sacrificed the life of an innocent animal, so its skin would be the covering their own futile efforts couldn’t produce. Here we see God sacrificing the innocent for the guilty.
Doesn’t this perfectly prefigure the cross, as Jesus, innocent of all sin, was sacrificed on behalf of the sins of mankind, covering our guilt with His sacrificial blood? The writer of Hebrews reminds us that forgiveness can only happen with the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22), and that Jesus shed His own blood on the cross to take away our sin (Hebrews 9:28).
It all comes full circle doesn’t it? We find ourselves in a sinful and shameful state. Deep down we sense this and try to cover it up. But God gives us the promise of life and salvation. When we respond to His promise by believing in faith, our sin is forgiven and covered by His work on the cross, which covers us in a way that we could never cover ourselves.
This is the message of the gospel . . . the most beautiful and powerful message to ever grace God’s creation, and it’s hiding in plain sight here in Genesis, in the center of things as they are at their absolute worst! It is so like God to place His brightest light in the darkest of nights.
Don’t forget that when it comes to your own life. Sin may have you feeling naked, shamed, condemned, hopeless, worthless, discarded, and unwanted by every person you can think of, including God. Don’t buy that lie! As with Adam and Eve, God is reaching out to you with a promise of life, forgiveness, and love . . . a promise that culminated on the cross.
I’ll leave you with this amazing declaration: “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NLT).
What’s your response to this?
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.