The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were both naked and unashamed after their creation. Ever since the fall of man in Genesis 3, there has been great shame in nakedness. While it’s not necessarily universal that people feel ashamed to be completely naked in front of others, there is a definite truth in us all that resonates with Adam and Eve’s shame when they realized their nakedness.
In Genesis 3:21, God does something significant and very symbolic of the work he was to accomplish in his Son:
And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
Prior to this passage, God issued the decree of the consequences of sin for the serpent, the woman, and the man. Adam and Eve had been found hiding from God, clothed in the coverings they made for themselves of fig leaves. In their shame, God clothed them.
As Pastor Boyd covered John 7:53-8:11 in our I AM series, he discussed the shame of the woman caught in adultery:
They went each to his own house, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
Here, we see Jesus stand up for the woman accused of adultery. While law certainly says that adultery is sin, Jesus was quick to address the punishment and shame that was to be wrought on her by her captors. This is a small picture of why Jesus came, and what he was to accomplish. By his death and resurrection on the cross, he not only took away the condemnation that was due us, but he took away the shame in sin as well.
The clothing of sin and shame that we had made for ourselves was exchanged for the clothing of righteousness that only Jesus could provide. It’s in this that we rejoice, that God clothes us in the righteousness of his Son.
As we proceed throughout the week, let’s take time to pray and thank Jesus that his righteousness has been imputed to us - that it has been counted as ours because of our union with him.