When I finish cleaning our floors, I look back and admire with satisfaction the sleek feeling floors. No sticky spots, no gritty pieces from toast, crackers or cereal from who knows when embedding themselves into the soles of my feet. I do my version of a happy dance and wonder, did God do his own little dance when he finished creating E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. in a whopping seven days?
His state of the art project was supreme: Under budget, on-time, exceeded all the codes of the time, embellished and p.e.r.f.e.c.t. in every way. That is until one woman messed with it, like when my kids spill anything and everything the moment I clean the floor. Maybe part of the curse for women is that floors never stay clean, kids (and husbands) leave debris in their wake, and the pile of laundry is never empty?
Last night while tucking my son in bed he lamented about that Eve. He’s battling right now against his flesh, as we all are, and he’s frustrated. A heavy sigh of desperation came from deep within my young boy’s heart as he legitimately lamented over “…Eve ruining things way back in the garden. If only she had never done that.” I know this sigh well, the ache when I continue to stumble and wrestle with the same sin like I’m stuck in spin cycle of my washing machine. I feel powerless to conquer it. I feel defeated.
His sincerity pricked my soul and my mind circled around God, a perfect creation, sin, redemption, and a permanent restoration. What would have happened if Eve didn’t sin? What would have happened if sin didn’t enter the world for several generations? Seriously, pause and think before you read on.
You did pause, right?
If Eve hadn’t sinned, if people had managed to be absolutely perfect for all those generations we would have evidence that people can accomplish perfection on their own. Would we ever find need for a Savior? Would we simply point to a particular person, as we do Eve, and say with disgust, “It was a good twelve hundred years until he ate from that tree. Jerk ruined it all.” (I’m sure you came up with some interesting ideas and welcome you to share them below!)
Fingerprints of God’s loving kindness are found in the fact that one of the people he initially created brought sin into the world. Through Eve’s choice, we are acutely aware of good and evil. Our inability to be righteous, to defeat our sinful nature through our own means leads us to a longing for a Savior. Fortunately we serve a loving God who has a complete plan.
For years people looked, longed and waited for the promised Savior, Jesus Christ, to come. When he did, it was a modern version of the garden all over again. Instead of taking from the forbidden tree, they nailed their redeemer to the tree. Though their act couldn’t bury the testimony of the most holy, I sometimes do.
I like happy endings and often end the gospel story with Jesus ascending into heaven. Shielding myself from things I find frightening, alarming, uncomfortable, disturbing, controversial and messy (most biblical prophecy) I miss the continued gospel message from our Creator. The story of hope doesn’t end with Salvation!
Leaning into Revelation we learn more about our Creator, Savior, Redeemer. It reminds me of the stories we’ve told our parents about things we did as kids, things they were unaware of that may have changed their perspective about us. Our perspective of Jesus’ role as savior expands as we learn what he is going to do. He’s not just a Savior from sin, he’s the conqueror of evil.
By introducing sin from the very beginning creation is forever pointed to the Savior, our redeemer. And long after his resurrection, we look to that same Savior, not only for a redemptive work in our lives, but in our world. The book of Revelation is a book about a book of looking, waiting, anticipating a new beginning through our Savior’s return- not just to rescue or judge, but to reign and rule in peace forever and ever.