We were made to love. Love God, our spouses, our children, our community—everyone. But sin changed everything. What God created to be a blissful experience of mutual trust became a lifetime of suspicion and jealousy.
Adam and Eve’s lack of trust is inherited by their children. Culminating in Cain’s jealousy, and eventual murder, of his brother. Just one generation from perfection and trust has eroded to this devastating place. Instead of the blood of an animal being shed, Abel is sacrificed. Cain found out that if you don’t let God die for your sins you, or someone you love, will. We’ve been dying for each other’s sins ever since. War, racism, divorce, hate; we are a bunch of broken people, in a broken world, full of broken relationships. Had Cain sacrificed the firstling of his flock like God had asked maybe instead of trying to compete with Abel he could’ve celebrated his mutual deliverance with him. He would’ve discovered there is ultimately only one offering worth giving. We were made to love.
It’s not all bad news though. As Adam and Eve are busy blaming each other for one another’s failures, instead of entering into the endless debate of “who’s fault it was”, God does something about it. He takes the life of an animal in order to cover them. Instead of them dying that day, God took the life of an innocent bystander. Something that did not participate in the sin, pays the price. So now instead of seeing each other’s nakedness, mistakes, and brokenness, Adam and Eve would always see the sacrifice that died so they could live. Their clothes would become a daily reminder they were made to love. Every time they put their clothes on they would be reminded about what God, and the sacrifice gave for them. No wonder Paul says in Galatians 3:27 “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.”
It is only through focusing on the sacrifice that we can learn to love each other, as we should. It is only in the gospel that we will find the security, hope, and redemption we so desperately want. Only when our eyes are transfixed on the One who gave everything will we be able to forgive, even find ourselves forgetting, the sins of one another. Lost in the love of the God who gave everything for us. When we discover there is only one God we can let everyone else be human. There is room for only one Savior. Through Him we can learn to Passover old sins, because He passed-over ours. We can look past each other’s shortcomings, because on Calvary Jesus looked past ours. “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,” Hebrews 12:2. Jesus looked past the spitting, the hating, the shouting, and the sinning straight to his joy, you and me, and declared, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. We were made to love. The cross is the ultimate expression of that love. So “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”