Why the Cross?

God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden. They were his greatest creation and his pride and joy, just like our kids are to us. I’ve often wondered why God put a temptation in the middle of the garden that carried such steep consequences. I know now that love isn’t true love without free will and that tree was their opportunity to exercise free will. (By the way, Verse 18 shows that God made Eve after the command about the tree. We give Eve a hard time for the fall for the record, but God directly told Adam, just sayin’. )

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat[a] of it you shall surely die.”

Genesis 2:16-17

Naked and UnAfraid

They were naked and unafraid in the garden, they walked with a righty, glorious, and the wisest God shared his mind and heart intimately. This shows us they were completely comfortable and vulnerable (hiding nothing) in their relationship with God. Isn’t it interesting that the moment they ate the fruit, they realized they were naked? In other words, they realized they were vulnerable; there was an immediate separation between them and God as they tried to hide. The first emotion was the big one, “Fear.” They were afraid.

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”

Genesis 3:2-3

Telephone Game of Shame

I don’t know from where the communication breakdown came. Did Adam add the extra little phrase, “Nor shall you touch it, or you will surely die?” Was this a bad game of telephone? Did Adam recite it to Eve incorrectly, or did Eve reframe it while Adam was there and said nothing? This false reality made them comfortable with taking that bite. After all, they touched the fruit, and nothing happened. This perversion of God’s word was the start of their downfall. They both ate the fruit, and their eyes were “opened.” They were “woke,” but in the worst way; they knew sin intimately. This act cost them two lives, their intimate life in the garden, and they would have a bodily death too.

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15: 21-22

The Sacrifice

All of humanity since Adam and Eve were born outside the garden and into sin and death. God created an atonement through sacrifice and good works for the faithful until he sent Jesus, who completed it. God demonstrated Jesus and his redemptive death in Exodus when the Israelites had to sacrifice a lamb and put its blood on three doorposts. They celebrate this each year until that one fateful day.

“The next day he (John) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29.

John 1:29

God is a holy God, and Adam and Eve walked and talked with him; they had no fear or shame. They were given everything, but it was that one thing they couldn’t have and they believed, recited, and acted on a lie that took their life. They already had everything, but in their wanting more, sin came to us all, but through Jesus, his perfect life, suffering, and dying for our sins, he paid our price. There is no other way to be forgiven; God made way for us through his love and his blood on the cross. Let’s take a moment to thank him for not leaving us to die, but dying for us so we may have life.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:10
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