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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Far Better

As we continue our Lenten journey toward a closer walk with Jesus, I thought of what God did for our first parents in the Garden of Eden. 

After He planted the garden, God “took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:8ff) Then the Lord created Eve and brought her to Adam, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” 

But it didn’t take long for sin to corrupt the good that God intended. In the next chapter, Satan seduced Eve into disobeying God. He implied God could not be trusted to have their best interests at heart.  So, she ate the fruit and gave it to her husband who was with her. 

There are several important spiritual lessons we can glean from this section of Scripture. Let’s look at only one for now.  

God did not exile our first parents from the Garden naked. He clothed them with animal skins. To do that, God killed an animal, shedding its blood to cover their shame with its skin. 

Within a few pages of Genesis, we find the first instance in all of Scripture where God used blood to cover sin. The last instance occurs on Calvary where God sacrificed His Son, shedding His blood, to cover the sin and shame of all who believe and obey Him. It is the blood of Jesus alone that covers the penitent’s sins far deeper than the blood of animals God sacrificed to cover our first parents’ sin. 

During Lent, as we journey toward the glorious finale of Resurrection Sunday, it’s good to ask our hearts: “Are my garments spotless, are they white as snow? Am I washed in the blood of the Lamb?”* 

But don’t stop with those questions. These follow-on questions are also important: “Am I walking daily by the Savior’s side? Do I rest each moment in the Crucified? Am I washed in the blood of the Lamb?”* 

If you are the least bit unsure, please – with all your heart, offer to God this prayer, or something like itO my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to repent and amend my life. Amen. 

And then continue your journey toward Resurrection Sunday, confident in God’s promise that the blood of Jesus has covered your sins far better than that which covered the sin of our first parents.

*Edited from the hymn, “Are You Washed in the Blood” by Elisha A. Hoffman (d. 1929)

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