Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
I finished my last blog post by saying that this is the origin of sin. I intentionally did not say that it was the original sin as people like to say. Here’s the question that gets me blank looks fro people sometimes: “Why is being naked all of a sudden a sin? Why is it bad now?” To paraphrase the most common answer to this question, “Huh?”
But seriously, at the end of Chapter Two it’s proclaimed as a good thing that Adam and Eve are nakedly thriving in the garden and that they were not ashamed. Now, they eat the fruit that gives wisdom and the first thing they realize is that they are naked and so they cover themselves with fig leaves and when they hear God walking towards them, they hide so He won’t see them naked. This one of the most ridiculous scenes in the entire Bible. It ranks right up there with the prophet with the talking mule.
Think about it. God created these two with His very own hands. He’s seen them countless times in the flesh, so to speak. And now they think they have something to hide from Him and that they possibly can? The whole thing is silly. Being naked is all of a sudden bad. Here’s the deal. They realized this after they became wise. Plus, Biblically speaking, we see many other scenes in Scripture that demonstrates that they were right. I’m not sure why but that is what the Bible teaches; were not, as a rule, supposed to run around in the buff.
But that doesn’t answer the question, does it? Why was it OK before, and not now? Did God change His mind? Did God change? I don’t think God ever changes, nor does He change His mind. God’s will never changes but the Bible teaches that His relationship with humanity has changed from time to time. This is one of those times. It was just as “wrong” for Adam and Eve to be naked before they ate the fruit as it was afterward. God doesn’t correct them, after all. He makes clothes for them. Now that Adam and Eve know better, however, they have to be held accountable. The concept of “sin”, therefore, is a legal matter in that now that there is knowledge, there is culpability. We call this sin. What this means is that Adam and Eve and the rest of humanity were under a form of grace until the forbidden fruit was eaten. Once we knew better, the cloak of innocence was removed and we held accountable for our evil. It was no longer acceptable, for example, for Adam and Eve to remain naked.
This demonstrates why Jesus is compared to Adam and not the other way around. As Mary Magdalen realized outside the tomb,Jesus is not the gardener. Whereas Adam failed in faith, Jesus succeeds by faith and grace is restored. Whereas once humanity was protected by Adam’s inaction, now we are saved by Jesus’s action. There’s plenty to contrast the two, but first we we must understand their similarities as the Bible teaches us. Adam helps us understand Jesus.
It also brings home the primacy of faith. Adam’s failure in faith led to his action that brought about God’s wrath (i.e. made sin effective on earth). Jesus’ success in faith brought about His action on the cross that brought about God’s mercy. God remains the same and I dare say that humanity has remained the same for the duration. We never really obey God, but sometimes we have faith and that makes all the difference.
Read all the articles in this thought provoking, original series: