I was listening to someone talk about Adam in the Garden of Eden. He talked about how the death and resurrection of Yeshua meant that we would be restored to the relationship Adam had in the Garden of Eden. This is when my Jewishness kicks in. I thought, “Well, yes…..and no.” What do I mean by that?
The relationship we will have with God based on Yeshua’s death and resurrection has its feet in the Garden of Eden. The relationship we will have towers above that relationship and explains why it is worth it for us to go through the fall of mankind to reach it. It is breathtaking that God would offer us so much. And the cost of a fallen world crippled by sin will make it all the more precious.
What was Adam’s relationship to God in the Garden? God created man to be perfect. He could walk with God face to face. He ruled a creation put under his care by God and it all worked. There were no broken relationships. No natural disasters. No famine, no drought. Death was unknown and it was all created to continue on in that way for all of eternity. Except that it wasn’t. God put everything into place knowing exactly what was going to happen. This relationship was not enough.
So what was missing from Adam’s relationship that made the fall of man necessary. Yes, necessary.
It wasn’t close enough.
Continue reading “What’s Coming is Better Than What Could Have Been”
This parable is told in Luke 16 beginning in verse 19. Yeshua is on his way to Jerusalem to be crucified. He knows this. In chapter 17, we find him on the road to Jerusalem. In chapter 18 he predicts his death for the third time .In chapter 19 we find the triumphal entry. He knows where he’s going. He knows what will happen and he keeps going. So much is packed into these chapters. He’s trying to get the people ready. He’s trying to get the disciples ready. I think that’s why he tells so many stories. I don’t know about you but stories are much easier for me to remember than instructions. I think that’s why Yeshua told stories. There are some amazing things in this parable. Yeshua was trying to jar the religiously righteous enough wake them up to what they were doing. To wake them up enough to follow him. He loved them.
Continue reading “Lazarus and the Rich Man”
I love one thing in particular about summer. My white jeans and my white capris. They go with everything. They dress up anything else I’m wearing. Oh and the old fashion rule about not wearing white after Labor Day? Forget it. I wear the white jeans pretty much year round. I’d do the same with the capris but the Midwest in winter makes that impractical. I want to live in Hawaii.
Imagine if Adam and Eve had not sinned. We’d be living in the garden. Naked. No capris. No jeans. It would be worth it because we would never have sinned. We would be in perfect relationship with God. Our work would be fruitful (maybe literally) and not frustrating or full of lawsuits. Life would be truly and completely good.
We are told that in Heaven we will be restored to that relationship. We who believe and follow Jesus will be able to stand in the presence of God. Our lives will be what they should be, truly and completely good. But we will not be naked.
We will wear robes. I have no idea what they will look like but they will be white. At least that’s the color I find mentioned in the Bible.
Why not naked? Because of mankind’s history. God has a wonderful habit of taking things that should leave us feeling condemned and miserable and turning them into something wonderful. We know that Adam and Eve were naked until they sinned and their eyes were opened. They understood they were naked and suddenly it was embarrassing. More appropriately, it felt condemning. It told them that they had disobeyed God and were now separated from him. They felt the coldness of that and it had nothing to do with a draft. After explaining what all this entailed (i.e. the curses), God made clothes for them out of skins. So the first physical death in the world was not the death of Adam and Eve. God killed animals and made clothes. Adam and Eve not only saw death with their own eyes for the first time but then had to wear death to cover their nakedness. It may even have been the death of animals they knew well and cared about. I’m betting that made it even more difficult. They had to deal with separation from God and its results every day for the rest of their lives. And think about this, it was not just nakedness in front of God that had them embarrassed, it was nakedness in front of each other. Their act of rebellion had separated them from each other. Each and every human being suffers from that. We are all separated from each other.
Once we are with God in heaven, he will again give man clothes. These robes will be white. White is a symbol of purity. God will clothe us again but this time we will not be clothed in death, we will be clothed in righteousness. But (and this is an important but) not in our righteousness. We will be clothed in Jesus’ righteousness. We will put on his righteousness just as we took on his sacrifice on the cross to restore our relationship with God. We will wear a reminder through all eternity that we did not deserve our place in heaven with God. And we will love it. Why? Because it all points back to God and that will be all we want.
So white for all eternity? Not a bad choice. But think about white light. White light is white only because the entire rainbow is in there. Break white light and you get every color there is. We will be clothed in all the colors ever created when we wear white. Talk about a gracious God. He is generous beyond words to clothe us in white. And it will not make us look fat. Even better.