Hollister & The Righteousness of God

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January 9, 2010 by Dwight Bernier

Short Reflection on Genesis 3

There is such a push to always have the latest and most trendy fashion. And it’s not usually not just about the fashion, but about the name. This is why when you walk into a middle school or high school, you see half of the kids wearing sweatshirts with “Abercrombie & Fitch” or “Hollister” written across the front. The quality isn’t so important to these kids (even though it tends to be a bit better) as the name is. It says something about who they are and what their identity is.

In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve had chosen a different identity for themselves apart from God, God does a few astonishing things. First off, we must understand that Adam and Eve taking and eating the fruit was more than just rebellion – it was the proverbial middle finger to God, saying that they could be wise without Him. After we have that squared away, we must see that they were ashamed and naked (Genesis 3.7). Now they had always been naked, but because sin was now involved in their story (which it wasn’t before), they were ashamed of their nakedness. They tried to hide from God.

But God comes to them, despite what they had chosen and done against Him, and He asks them who told them they were naked. God knew they had eaten from the tree He had forbid them to eat from. At this point, God could have destroyed them. He would have been perfectly just to do so. But rather than destroy, He promises them a future. He makes a promise that from the seed of the woman, He would bring One who would crush the serpent’s (Satan) head. This seed of the woman would redeem the people of God so that they could again glorify God by enjoying Him forever. Man was created to enjoy God, not be apart from Him and enemies of Him. This promise is the first incredible act of grace – that One is coming who will fix all this.

The second act of grace is that God clothes His people. In Genesis 3.21 we see that God made garments for them and clothed them. God would not rub their face in their sin but would graciously clothe them to hide their nakedness. God comes to His people in their shame and guilt and clothes them. This is an act of grace – to cover the shame rather than expose it and make them see and feel it for the rest of their days. The only reason why it is appropriate is because God would one day clothe them with eternal righteousness in the seed of the woman, Jesus, who was to come. Jesus would wear the curse and all the unrighteousness of man upon Himself on the cross, and He gives us His righteousness, so that we can be reconciled to God and be presented before Him as holy, not shameful, blameless, not guilty, clothed, not naked. This is good news.

Regardless of the brand of clothes you wear, may you be reminded as you wear your clothes (hopefully you do) that God has clothed His people in righteousness through His Son and His atoning work on the cross. May we see that our sin has not only been covered, but cast as far as the East is from the West.


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