Love is not a feeling, love is a verb. Love is action. Where there is no action there is no love. God didn't send a postcard describing His love. From the very beginning he demonstrated His love. In the Garden of Eden there was only one rule, one law. Eating from the one specific tree was forbidden. The result of breaking that one law was death.
The tree was an Avenue to allow satan access and control and where satan has those two things destruction and death follow. The tree represents the gateway by which destruction and death come. It is the one drink too many. It is the secret conversations with the cute girl at work that you know are leading to the destruction and death of the trust your wife has in you. It is the Internet site you shouldn't be clicking on. It is... oh the gateways are many now. Death is not an arbitrary punishment from God. Death is the sure and inevitable result of heading down the wrong pathway. You don't need to be religious to experience the consequences of wrong choices.
You may remember the windows I told you about. When I was 4 the boy my mom was babysitting started breaking windows in a garage near our house. Before I even picked up the first rock I knew it was a bad idea. However no amount of remorse could undo it. The glass didn't come back together when I said I was sorry.
The truth is like parents and children God understood the consequences far better than Adam and Eve did. Prior to that day they never knew temptation or evil or any negative dark thoughts or feelings. It was a state of existence we can't really comprehend now. Eve had no idea she was granting satan 24hr access to her mind simply by doubting God. She had no idea how far reaching the consequences would be.
The truth is neither do we still. Our bad choices have a ripple effect that can sometimes continue into generations after our own death. Sin is seriously destructive. But, BUT, God demonstrated His love from the beginning. He couldn't undo what they did but He did have a plan to fix it. That first animal killed to make clothes for them had deep meaning. The death showed the consequences of sin. The death of another life for their benefit demonstrated His death on their behalf. The clothes represented His perfect life covering their sin and shame. He didn't just tell them what He was going to do for them, he demonstrated it.
The altars and sacrifices of the Old Testament times, the temple and the priests and the animals and the altar were all telling and demonstrating one Story.
Then Jesus came. The Seed arrived. The Reality to which everything had pointed had come. Would He do it? Would Jesus really go through with it? Would God stand by and let His innocent Son die for the benefit of unthankful, uncaring, unholy us? How much did They really love us? Making promises is a lot easier than keeping them...
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
He didn't just follow through. He added to the promise. His death reconciled us but there is more! Look at verse 10. We are going to be saved (healed) by His life. What does that mean? Tomorrow will cut right to the heart of the matter. Broken lives need healing. Healing can be painful and even frightening but the results are glorious.
See you tomorrow...