Eden, Marriage, and Good Friday

God is bringing to light the parts of my heart that still have no grace for others. My hard-and-fast rules and judgments against the things that hurt me in the past, against what’s RIGHT and WRONG according to my defenses and my filters. I’m learning that there are red flags that I’ve set up for myself from past traumas, that are not actually red flags from Jesus.

When I see certain things, I run. I run fast. I push people away. Funny when I stick around to see what happens, I realize that I’m doing a similar thing to the thing I am judging or running from. I am carrying a similar sin. I am defending a similarly stubborn, wrong attitude. But in somebody else, oh no no. But in me, well, that’s, well… see?

Grace is not an excuse. It’s also not earned. I can’t choose how it’s disbursed because it isn’t my gift. I keep getting placed in front of mirror-people, the ones who bring out things in me that God is trying to pry out and show me. He is refining me and boy does it humble me a lot. It makes me angry at myself, at my weakness. It makes me angry at any party involved in any of it. Yet, they are not the culprits, not the enemy, not trying to lead me to the grave of hell and pits of fire. They aren’t the arms that need to be chopped off. They aren’t the eyes that need to plucked out, lest the whole body be burned, etc.

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These people are my loved ones. They love me and want me to be more and more like Jesus. They want that as well. Sometimes, because we’re doing life together, we get tangled up in the struggles. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve got pretty tangled up in some sin. One blamed the other, and the truth was that both sinned individually. They would have sinned alone, but they were in a situation together. Human tendency is to judge, to point, and yet our hands can’t help but drop the stones when faced with the reality of our own sin.

It’s not good for man to be alone, right? Well then look what happened when he got put near his wife, his gift? She didn’t help him in the clutch time he needed to be called out the most. She handed him the apple, his co-sinner, his enabler. Why would God go through the trouble of creating a perfect union with people He knew were gonna stumble? Is that His idea of community, of marriage, of friendships, of family?

Eve wasn’t Adam’s Savior. She was a terrible savior. Poor girl wanted that fruit, that knowledge, the mystery of it all. Her discernment was rather lacking. Yet she stood side by side with Adam, dealing with the loss of Abel, with the horrible fate of Cain, and she raised that third son, Seth. They had to move past the hurdles of physical and spiritual evictions, but they didn’t have to figure it all out alone. They had the other to hold. I think that was the gift.

Not sure if it’s the coolest marriage in the Bible, but the first. Very clearly did God present Eve to Adam, and officiate the nicest, most low-budget wedding, probably more beautiful than anything on Pinterest.

I think about that wedding, in contrast to the future wedding in heaven, when the Bride and the Bridegroom celebrate, the Church and Christ. The sacrifice He made, which we celebrate today. The sacrifice that covered the sins to make that marriage work, and all of our relationships as well.

I was reading today about how our love with Jesus looks a lot like Cinderella or Aladdin, or so we reason it does. What could powerful royalty find attractive in the peasant? And so we think we need to be a farce, to impersonate royalty, to get near this Love and attempt to attain a romance through the costumes, and the fake or omitted identity. We will never be royals, it don’t run in our blood… that’s what the world says. That’s how it reasons, isn’t it?

Jesus died and bled to make those fairy tales look silly and backwards. The King of Kings, instead, pursuing the peasants, kneeling in the dirt and seeing worth with eyes that see past earthly circumstances. He is the one trying to convince US to love HIM, trying to win US over. So backwards. Telling us that we don’t have to earn it, or fake it, or lie about any of the past, our lowly, undeserving roots. We belong, crowned.

It’s insane, but that’s what He died for… that marriage and that Bride. Her purity, righteousness, confidence, and freedom. He is lovesick, and He’s the only Savior. We get these things all mixed up, and we place ourselves and others in our stories, playing all the wrong roles.

The King is the pursuer and the romancer. We see in part what He wanted to show us through marriage, through loving each other, through living life in community. Nobody in this story is meant to be the Savior but the Savior. All else is grace.

That’s all that I’ve been thinking about on this Good Friday.

The squeamish thought of a beaten Man in love with me simply disarms me of my judgments, of my false defenses. It is finished, and I love Him.

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