Posted by: glorifyhim1 | March 19, 2012

Clothed With Christ

Recently in Sunday School I told my group of five- and six-year-olds the Bible story about Adam and Eve (Genesis 1-3). Boys and girls heard that God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a beautiful garden to live. There were all kinds of beautiful things to enjoy in the garden, and God told Adam and Eve that they could enjoy everything in the garden except for the one tree in the middle of the garden. They could not eat the fruit from that one tree. Yet Adam and Eve made a choice to disobey God and they both ate fruit from the tree. The application for our lesson with kindergartners was that even when we make wrong choices, God still loves us. I explained that although Adam and Eve could not stay in the beautiful garden that God still loved them. He even made clothes for Adam and Eve out of animal skin and showed them a new place to live.

As I finished telling the story, one little fellow commented thoughtfully: “So they made a wrong choice and God made them clothes.” “That’s right,” I responded. “So,” the little fellow surmised, “if they had not made a wrong choice, they would be running around with no clothes on and not even care!”

To be sure, this child’s comment causes me to chuckle even now, a couple of weeks later. Yet, it also came to my mind the other day when I read another Scripture.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell us about a demon-possessed man that Jesus encountered.

Luke tells us that this man lived in the country of the Gadarenes, that he wore no clothes and did not live in a house, but in the tombs (see Luke 8:26-27). Mark offers the most vivid description.

“Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because had had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.”

(Mark 5:1-5)

Here is a man, naked and tormented. Possessed by demons, he is totally out of his mind and no one can control him. Jesus ordered the unclean spirits out of the man. The spirits left the man, entered a large herd of swine and caused them to run into the sea and be drowned. When people heard the story, they ran to see what happened and they “saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind” (Mark 5:15).

As I thought about this man that Jesus healed and about Adam and Eve whom God loved in spite of their disobedience, I realized that in both situations, they were left clothed. And that is what love does! It covers us. God did not leave Adam and Eve in their shame. Neither did Jesus drive out the unclean spirits, but leave the man forlorn and unrestored. Although the Scriptures do not say how the man was clothed, I can see Jesus making sure that he was cared for, tenderly washing him, cleansing all the cut places on his body, and dressing him in a soft, clean robe. And I think, oh, how Jesus loves us. He clothes us and covers us with Himself – whatever our need, however we fall short, wherever he finds us. Consider just some of the ways that Jesus covers us.

  • He covers us with His presence –

“And He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge” (Psalm 91:4a).

  • He covers us with forgiveness –

“You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin” (Psalm 85:2).

  • He covers us with mercy –

“The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9).

  • He covers us with grace –

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

  • He covers us with strength –

“’And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

  • He covers us with His righteousness –

“And be found in Him (Christ), not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:9).

  • He covers us with joy and gladness –

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11).

I think that my young friend was really more right than even I realized at the time. If Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God, they would not have known the burden of sin with all its shame, fear, worry and regret. With no knowledge of sin, they really could have run around in that perfect garden without a care in the world. While we cannot know a world without sin, God planned a way for us to be clothed, covered, and restored through Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Him and trust Him in all we do, He will not leave us without hope in a fallen world, but He will cover us with Himself and leave us sitting, clothed, and in a right mind.

 

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