Summary: In the midst of a life of sin, shame and death, there is a God who brings a fallen humanity to life, glory and life. For those who repent of their sin and trust in the work of Christ alone for eternal life we see 1) Confidence (Genesis 3:20), 2) Contribut
It has been said that: “A picture is worth a thousand words,”. Of the more famous pieces of art is the picture painted for us at the end of the third chapter of Genesis. We have probably all seen paintings of this event because many artists have dealt with it. Most of the great Renaissance painters handled this theme. So did William Blake in his well-known illustrations for Milton’s Paradise Lost. (One of the most famous) is the work of Masaccio done in fresco for the wall of the Brancacci Chapel, Church of the Carmine, Florence. The work is called “Expulsion from Paradise” and features bold contrasts of light and darkness that serve to highlight the picture’s drama. In it Adam and Eve are being driven away by an angel who hovers overhead, sword in hand. The human pair are engulfed in anguish. Adam’s head is bowed low, hands covering his face. Eve’s head is thrown back, her mouth open in a cry of deep personal pain. As Adam and Eve walk away from the Garden of Eden their withering shame is painfully evident in the very motion of their bodies. This fresco, like the verbal portrait given to us in Genesis, at once etches the shame and misery of the human condition on our minds (Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis : An expositional commentary (241–242). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.).
If Genesis 1–2 was paradise, then, sadly, Genesis 3 and what follows is a description of paradise lost. Through one foolish and rebellious act—eating the fruit God had forbidden—Adam and Eve lost their innocence, their dignity, their home, and their perfect relationship with God. And so, says Romans 5:12, did you and I: “through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” The reason we are the way we are—diseased, discontent, disobedient, disappointed, and disenfranchised from God—is because each one of us has inherited a sin sickness and a death sentence from Adam, our first father. (Strassner, K. (2009). Opening up Genesis (31–32). Leominster: Day One Publications.)
Expulsion from the garden brings us the last of the consequences of the disobedience. Because sin has become universal, a new boundary has been given, one that cannot be crossed. Control has replace freedom. Coercion has replaced persuasion. God’s act to withhold the tree of life cannot be violated. Death, however delayed, will come (Yet there is an) element of grace in this withholding of the tree of life. Humanity cannot choose to eat from the tree of life and thus remain living indefinitely. In a distorted and disrupted world, never-ending life would be unbearable. In expelling humanity from the garden we experience a God who withholds, but who also provides (Roop, E. F. (1987). Genesis. Believers church Bible commentary (46–47). Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press.)
In the midst of a life of sin, shame and death, there is a God who brings a fallen humanity to life, glory and life. For those who repent of their sin and trust in the work of Christ alone for eternal life we see 1) Confidence (Genesis 3:20), 2) Contribution (Genesis 3:21), 3) Correction (Genesis 3:22-23), 4) Constraint (Genesis 3:24)