Have you ever done something wrong and felt like someone close to you could never forgive you? When it comes to sin, we all naturally feel at least some amount of shame because of it. As I was reading in the book of Genesis two days I ago I realized that this feeling of shame is something that isn’t unique to 21st-century humans. In fact, one of the very first negative emotions found in the Bible is shame.
The story is pretty familiar for most Christians, but here is a brief summary…
God created the first humans (Adam and Eve) and placed them in the perfect garden of Eden. The Lord told them that they could eat of any tree in the garden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sure enough, Adam and Eve end up breaking the rules that God had set.
What Adam and Eve do next is all too familiar to us. They run. They make their best effort to hide from the Lord because they were naked and ashamed of the sin that they had committed against Him. Despite the great relationship that they had previously had with God the shame of their sin was too much to bear and they ran away from the One who had given them everything they had ever needed.
I think that this story can apply in many different ways to our life. Ultimately, shame is a universal feeling. Many times our sin leaves us feeling dirty, stained, unclean, or naked. While it is a natural feeling, shame can be debilitating, especially when it comes to following God. But the end of this story is a picture of the glorious grace that the Lord has for all of us.
When the Lord comes back to walk with Adam and Eve in the garden they were hidden and He called out to them. Finally, Adam and Eve have an encounter in which the Lord makes them confront their sins head on. Although they expected to feel the fulness of his wrath the Lord does something that they couldn’t have seen coming… He clothes them.
The Lord knew that Adam and Eve were filled with shame. Despite the fact that they tried to run away from his love, the Lord sought them out and clothed them so that they no longer felt the shameful effect of their sin.
The Lord offers the same thing to us.Because of the sacrifice of Jesus we are now able to be clothed in His righteousness. Click To Tweet
For that reason, there is no reason for us to be ashamed of our sinfulness. Yes, we should fight against sin, we should be aware that sin is offensive to God, we should even understand that our sin will have a penalty, but we cannot let this sin make us so ashamed of ourselves that we turn away the one true source of love that this world has ever known.
In our nakedness, the Lord has provided clothes for us so that the stains of yesterday no longer have to make us feel like we aren’t worthy of love. Jesus loved us so much that He put on our dirty, smelly, disgusting, shameful rags on Himself and He gave us His garments that were clean and white as snow.