Posted by: forfreedomalone | 09/06/2015

The first Gospel

The Garden of Eden is a place I like to ponder. I have a large garden and our house is called Stratheden, (a Strath is a river valley in Scotland) so pondering on paradise gardens is not unreasonable.

I wonder what it was like to be there and to tend. I wonder what it was like to wander in the cool of the day (that could be morning or evening or both) with God and chat about this or that.
Often, as I wonder, I realise I am doing exactly what Adam did; albeit, in a fallen world; but nonetheless, I am tending a garden and chatting with God as I do so.

I was pondering, one day, how amazing it is that I, over 5,000 years after Adam fell, am able to chat with God, just as he did, restored to the relationship he knew before he made a grave error.

As I pondered I saw God calling out to Adam, asking “Where are you?” and trying to draw Adam out to be reconciled to him. This is what the original language tells us was happening. God was not looking for Adam to punish him, but to heal the rift between them and restore his beloved son to the original relationship.
Then it dawned on me that what God was doing in that moment was preaching the Gospel.

Jesus is called “The Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world”. His sacrifical death provided the way for Adam to be reconciled to God, in just the same way it does for us.
His substitution, in my place, in your place, in Adam’s place makes it possible for us to return to the relationship Adam once knew.

Two thousand years ago that sacrifice was made manifest at a place called Calvary. We now have a detailed record of what happened before the foundation of the world and, in the book of Genesis, we have a detailed record of what happened to Adam.

God called to him (so his fall did not prevent him hearing the voice of God) to come (Adam had to make a move in God’s direction) and be reconciled (God had already made it possible for this to happen by forgiving Adam and opening the way to reconcilation).
Adam hid.

Adam hid. He refused to believe that God was not going to punish him in some way. He was afraid of the loving father who had given him life and walked with him in the perfect garden made for him. The sinful action he had taken had seperated him for the one who loved him beyond measure, yet he feared his father and hid from him.

Today, when you hear the voice of God calling to you, in the cool of the day, saying, “Where are you? Come, be restored to the relationship Adam once knew.” Do not hide.
He had nothing but loving kindness for you and requires nothing of you but that you come to him.

He has the answer to your every question, healing for your every pain, peace for your every fear and joy for your every sorrow.
Adam knew Shalom…heath, joy, peace, prosperity and life to its fullest. He lost it in a foolish decision, but it was there again, for the taking, if only he had come forth from his hiding place of shame.
Do not resist the call of love when you hear it, there is nothing more genuine that you will ever hear.

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