I’ve spent nearly half the month pondering Genesis 1 and 2, and I’m starting to feel a little behind. We are created in the image of God, yes, and there’s so much more to get into there, but Genesis 3 happens. We are fallen, cursed, without God and without hope in the world.
I should probably get moving.
And yet there is no “and yet” if we don’t start in the beginning.
“Creation is the proper starting point for any consideration of human identity and its recovery through the gospel. Why is this?
When we discuss the fall without having appreciated the majesty of the human creature by virtue of creation, the impression is given that there is something inherent in our humanness that predisposes us to sin, that there is something deeply sinful and unspiritual in being human…
So creation is not the problem, and it is only when we more fully appreciate the majesty of humanity as God’s creation that we can adequately weigh the horror of the fall.”
– Michael Horton, Putting the Amazing Back Into Grace (chapter 2)
Just as we can’t understand God’s holiness apart from an understanding of our sinfulness, so we cannot understand our sinfulness apart from understanding who we were created to be.
I’ve found myself grieving my fallenness in a new way this month as I’ve pondered and meditated on the concept of imago dei. To see who we were created to be–created to be like God, to reflect and represent Him on earth (as Hannah Anderson describes it), and then to see how far I fall short–how I choose to find my identity outside of my Maker, how I run to anyone and anything that promises life and doesn’t deliver–it’s devastating. I am exposed and ashamed. Like Adam and Eve hiding in the shrubs from the One with whom they had enjoyed sweet, intimate fellowship only one evening prior.
We were without God and without hope in the world…but God.
God killed the animal and clothed the naked and ashamed. He followed the curse with a promise: the seed of the woman would crush the head of that serpent.
That seed–God Himself–naked from the womb, naked on the cross–bearing the full weight of my shame. Cursed thorns pressing my curse deep into the bleeding brow of the King of Kings.
Wretched woman that I am! Who will save me from this body of death??
Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14 ESV)
To learn more about the book that inspired my series, visit Hannah Anderson’s blog.