And animals that crawled on the ground and animals that flew in the sky and animals that splashed in the waters. And when God saw what He had created, He said it was good.
But once God made this beautiful garden, He felt like it was still missing something. Someone.
So God took a handful of dust and patted it in His holy hands. And then the Creator bent low and kissed that dirt. Breathed His very own life into that dust pie and it became a man. A man created in God’s own image. And God named the man Adam which means earth.
Then God thought to Himself, “It’s not good for man to be alone. I will make a partner for Adam.” So, while Adam slept, God took one of the man’s ribs and shaped a woman. God named her Eve, meaning life. And life is what Adam and Eve had. Delicious life. Abundant life.
Life in the garden was filled with good things. And the best thing of all? God was with them. There was no gap between God and man. No barrier between Heaven and earth. God walked with His children and together they lived in perfect intimacy. Adam and Eve enjoyed all the best God had to offer- His friendship. His heart. Laughter. Fun. Purpose. Play.
But one day Adam and Eve played hide and seek and that’s when the trouble began.
Well, there was a reason that God’s children were playing hide and seek that day. Adam and Eve weren’t hiding just for fun. They were hiding from God. They had disobeyed God and they were ashamed.
You see, God had given Adam and Eve permission to eat from any tree in Eden except for one. The tree in the middle of the garden. The tree of Knowledge.
But Satan really wanted to mess up God’s plans. So one day, Satan disguised himself as a sneaky old snake and he slithered up to Eve and talked her into trying that forbidden fruit. Eve took a big bite and passed it on to Adam. And from the moment they took their first bites, everything changed. Sin had entered into world, smeared their perfect life with doubt and disdain.
And worst of all, sin left a huge gap between God and His children. Now God’s children couldn’t reach God and couldn’t freely walk with His children. A perfect God couldn’t dwell in peace with imperfect children. A pure and clean Father couldn’t commune intimately with sin-smeared souls. Sin had shattered the bridge of intimacy and had left a great and gaping divide.
And from that day on, God’s children began to doubt their Father’s perfect love. They had no bridge to reach Him and so they began to question His faithfulness.
But don’t worry, that’s not where the story ends. God had a plan. He knew His children needed a fix-it man. Someone to repair that wrecked up bridge. Someone who would fix the great divide so God’s people could reach Him freely again.
And so our perfect Father sent His very own perfect Son. God wrapped His son up in baby skin and placed Him in our sin infested world. And Jesus walked among God’s people like God had once done in that beautiful garden. Emmanuel- God is with us. But this walk wasn’t one of laughter and play like the walks in the garden long ago. This walk wasn’t a tip toe through flower beds and fruit trees. This walk was a wretched climb up a barren hill called Calvary. This walk led Jesus to the cross where He was hung and left to die.
But that cross was the answer to our broken bridge problem. With His own outstretched hands, Jesus nailed that shattered bridge back together. With His own spilled blood, Jesus glued the pieces together again. And He fixed that terrible gap.
Now, imperfect people like us; sin-soiled souls like Adam and Eve and you and me can follow Jesus across those boards of grace. And because of what Jesus did on Calvary’s hill long ago, we can enjoy abundant life with our Heavenly Father once again.