BY: ANGELA JOHNSON
It was quiet. Too quiet. The silence was unnerving. I knew something was amiss. The absence of yelling, tattling, crashing, laughter, or squeals was a clear sign that something was wrong.
I quickly walked upstairs to where the children had been playing.
So, I headed into my oldest son’s room. Still nothing. As I strained my ears, I heard whispers coming from his closet. I slowly opened the door and found all three of my small children hiding. I immediately turned my attention to the source of their indiscretion — five large storage bins that had once housed clean, folded, and sorted clothes, were now completely empty. They had thrown each article of clothing down the laundry chute. The result of this hidden activity was an enormous mountain of clothes that filled the entire laundry room — floor to ceiling.
This is why I can picture God’s paternal response to Adam and Eve when He found them hiding among the Garden trees in the aftermath of their sin (Gen. 3:8). He calls to Adam, “Where are you?” Adam replies, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked” (Gen. 3:9-10).
Earlier in Genesis 2:25 we read, “The man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” So, what happened for them to be fearful and want to hide?
The very moment they ate the forbidden fruit, Scripture says, “…Their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves”(Gen. 3:7).
Because of their sin, they were immediately separated from God and tried to use leaves and trees to cover their shame. But, in His mercy, God provided an atonement; He reconciled them back to Him. He replaced their man-made attempts to hide their sin with His righteousness. He provided a sacrifice. He made a covering.
Genesis 3:21 says, “And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.” We are not told what animal God used or how it was killed, but His divine restitution was a beautiful foreshadowing of things to come.
From Old to New Testament, atoning for the redemption of sins is a recurring theme. Even the beloved Christmas story is about a sacrifice.
Jesus was laid in a manger to hang on a cross. Those little baby feet would one day walk the path of The Via Dolorosa, the “Way of Suffering.” Those chubby, wrinkled legs would one day stagger up a skull-shaped hill, called Golgotha. That sweet tiny head that smelled so sweet, would eventually wreak of blood and sweat as hateful, mocking men would violently shove a crown of thorns into it. Those soft little hands were made to be stretched out and nailed to a cross. That warm, tender body wrapped in swaddling clothes, would one day hang naked and be pierced by a spear. That sweet little voice that cooed and giggled would one day cry out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” — “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matt 27:46) Jesus loved us so much that He came into this world, sacrificed His life, and bore the sin of all humanity.
1 John 4:8 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” and 1 Peter 4:8 says, “…Love covers a multitude of sins.”The word describing what love does is, “Kalupto.” It means: “to cover, veil, hide, conceal, envelop, keep secret, hidden; to be covered over.”
From Eden to Calvary, we see this love — this perfect love — casting out all fear and covering us in every way. Jesus did not want to die, but He knew His innocent life must become the ultimate, sacrificial atonement for us all.
Today, we no longer need to hide behind our fear, shame, and sin.
Today, we can be clothed in His righteousness.
Today, we can be covered by His perfect love.
What can you release today into the cover of His perfect love?