New Years are times when we feel we want to start fresh. When everything is new, including resolutions, hopes, plans. We look ahead, not behind. We take a deep breath and plunge in. Like the dawn dew on fresh grass, we haven’t had time to see the fire ants underneath, or the mosquitos above.
There was a day in the Garden of Eden when all things stopped being new. The humans that God had created rebelled against Him. They had sinned. Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness, and it was a problem. The moment they sinned their bodies because a problem to them.
We usually focus on the part of the verse that states they were naked, and tried to cover themselves. But for now, let’s focus on the word “knew”.
God is so good He sent His son Jesus to die for us and take God’s wrath for sin in our place. That was the most horrible AND the most blessed moment of the entire universe for all time. He died, but He did not remain dead. He conquered death and was raised again, now making a way into heaven for all the rebellious but forgiven humans since Adam and Eve.
God is a God works all things to the good for those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28).
Hold that thought for a moment. Let’s go back to another famous naked person. The Emperor. As Steven Goddard posted, the Hans Christian Anderson story is like this:
The emperor’s new clothes
The label given to any fictional item that viewers have been induced into believing as real.
Anderson’s tale involves a vain king who was preoccupied with his appearance and his wardrobe. A pair of swindlers took advantage of this by pretending to be able to weave the finest cloth, which couldn’t be seen by people who were either unfit for office or were particularly stupid. The king decided to have a suit of clothes made from the fabric in order to test which of his courtiers was unfit for office. As he didn’t want to appear stupid or unfit for rule himself, he pretended to be able to see the new clothes, as did all of his courtiers. He paraded the ‘new clothes’ through the streets and the onlookers, also not wishing to appear stupid, all admired them. A small child, who didn’t understand the apparent necessity for pretence, piped up ‘But he has nothing on!’. The bubble of pretence burst and soon all the onlookers were repeating what the child had said, whilst the king continued the procession, attempting to maintain his dignity by pretending that nothing had happened.
Adam and Eve were naked, uncovered, and exposed to the world. That was bad. But there are worse things than being naked. Worse is being naked and not knowing it.
The Emperor in this fable believed his own press, that he was not naked, and he confidently went out and strutted among the people. This state of the human condition is reflected in the bible, you know. Even better to add to the conversation than Hans Christian Anderson’s fable is the verse:
“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17).
Jesus accuses the Church at Laodicea of being Emperors without clothes. They did NOT know they were naked. They did NOT know they were uncovered, exposed, all their flesh and flaws visible to the world. Lost and wandering, they did NOT know they were without the covering of Jesus Christ! Worst of all, the Laodiceans thought they were covered. But they were in fact naked, absent the linen robe of righteousness of Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 5:2-3 Paul said,
“For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.”
He’s telling the Corinthians to look forward to the resurrection after death/rapture where we have a body, clothed in His righteousness. In Laocidea, they were hypocrites pretending to know Christ, pretending to wear the fine spiritual robes, but and indeed were naked.
In Genesis they knew they were naked. They tried to cover themselves but God covered them. (Genesis 3:21). In Revelation…they did not know they were naked. What a tragic progression from understanding our need for Jesus to selfish self-reliance in a lost state with Jesus as an afterthought.
Are you longing to be clothed with our bodily dwelling from heaven, fine linen robes? Are you relying on the covering of Jesus in the meantime? He is ALL. This is a good verse to use in praise of Him and the righteous deed HE did so as to be able to clothe His Bride:
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:25-27)