Whereas the first creation story named, day by day, what took place, here there is no sense of elapsed time. How long did this state of fellowship and oneness with God last? Was it days? Weeks? Years? We do not know. But it seems to have taken very little time at all to move from the perfection of chapter 2 to its disruption in chapter 3. Sometimes it seems it takes me very little time at all to fall into sin as well.
Before chapter 3, however, there was no shame and no reason for shame. This reminds us again of the way things were at the beginning, as Yahweh intended, and of the place to which faith in Christ returns things. The Apostle Paul gives us the good news in Romans 8.1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”
To be “in Christ” is to be brought back to a state of no shame or condemnation before God. In a very real and significant way, to know Christ and his forgiveness is to be restored to life in Eden. It is to step back into and thrive within the world of Genesis 2 and to be offered fruit from every tree in the Garden, save the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Furthermore, it is the promise that should we taste again of the forbidden fruit, should we disobey God’s good commands and sin against him, Christ’s death and resurrection have won us the right to remain in a Genesis 2 state of being. We do not have to fear reprisal for our sin because Christ has made a way.
Perhaps in any other relationship or situation this might be seen as indulgent and enabling the one who is in the wrong. In the kingdom of God, however, it can only be seen as grace, pure grace. We need no longer fear banishment from the Garden of Eden. God has made a way for us to remain in his provision and fellowship forever, no ifs ands or buts.
Good and Gracious God, thank you for saving me and making a place for me in the world of Genesis 2. Even as I know of the sufficiency of your grace, teach me to live within your boundaries and in obedience to your ways, today and always. Amen.