In one of our Bible studies, we are working our way through the entire Bible, beginning with Genesis. Yesterday, we covered the fall of man.
Something struck me as I read that Adam and Eve, after giving in to the serpent’s deception and temptation, realizing they were naked, attempted to cover themselves with fig leaves. God, of course, made coverings of animal skin for them–a foreshadow of the sacrificial system that would later come into place.
The fig leaves were man’s attempt to hide his guilt and shame…to cover it up. Then, it was all they knew to do. God gave them a better way.
I thought about how mankind is still using fig leaves–trying to cover our sin by ourselves. Being good enough… Being pious enough… Doing charitable works… Being loving (at least from a secular viewpoint of what love is).
And, in themselves, there’s certainly nothing wrong with trying to do good. Doing charitable works. Caring for people.
But they’re futile, as were the fig leaves in the Garden of Eden.
I need only look at my own life and see where I’ve broken off a fig tree branch to cover something I’ve done wrong. My first response is to try to cover it by resolving to do better… to do enough good things to make myself feel less guilty.
Friends… it doesn’t work.
God’s way is JESUS. His only begotten Son’s life given in exchange for our life and our freedom from condemnation. But as with the fig leaves, we must “put on” Christ. We must trust, repent, follow. AND be baptized…not because salvation lies in it (ONLY the blood of Jesus saves), but to be obedient.
Our sin cannot be covered with fig leaves…with our own effort to cover it. But be comforted in knowing that when we sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus! Confess that sin to Him and allow Him to cover us…
His work of reconciling us with the Father.
God walked through the garden calling out to Adam, knowing full well where they were and what they had done. But He loved them enough to seek after them. He loved them enough to provide a covering for their sin.
Sin has its consequences, yes. But, through the blood of Jesus covering us, there is no condemnation. We are no longer separated from God.
Jesus took on the sins of the world as He died, suspended between Heaven and Earth on a wooden cross. He bore our grief and carried our sorrow. The weight of our shame and guilt was heavy on his shoulders.
But He did it anyway.
Because we are loved enough to have our fig leaves, which are temporary at best, exchanged for eternal forgiveness…for an eternal covering.