“And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, we didn’t need clothes. As a natural picture of the unobstructed, intimate relationship that humans and God enjoyed, and before the sting of sin-soaked shame, the man and his wife walked around naked.
The recoil or embarrassment that some of us might feel imagining that only highlights what The Fall did to us. We were created to be naked: completely vulnerable yet totally safe. It wasn’t a bad thing or an embarrassment but a beautiful, mysterious, and profound reality.
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?” Genesis 3:8-11
“Who told you that you were naked?” When I close my eyes and imagine this conversation, I imagine God’s tone of voice. I can hear the anger, the desire to crush that lying serpent that had tricked His precious children. But mostly, I think I can hear God’s sadness, His broken heart. Humanity’s innocence was stolen. Shame, that they were never meant to feel, was here.
We still feel that shame today. We see and feel glimpses of it all the time. Our teenagers feel it. Our children feel it. It’s stuck to us. Our culture, poisoned by porn and eating disorders and self-harming, feels it.
And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
In a moment that will be echoed on Calvary Hill, God does for the man and woman what they cannot do for themselves. Their shame was self-inflicted but God, in His love, clothes them, giving them back their dignity.
God clothes them naturally and covers them spiritually.
They can no longer be naked, but the Father will not leave them as they are. Nor does He leave us as we are. He still offers to clothe us, through the blood of Jesus and through the Gospel which covers and cleans us, until we too are without shame.