During our nightly ritual of getting pj’s on, brushing teeth, reading books, and doing our “votion” (Caroline’s word for “devotion”), my beautiful daughter gave me a nugget to chew on. Here’s what went down:
We were reading in her kid’s Bible about Adam and Eve being booted out of the garden of Eden. Her Bible has some really old, cheesy, flannel-graph looking artwork in it. This picture showed Adam and his bride leaving the garden looking forlorn in their new animal skins, while two really wimply looking blond dudes in white stood guarding the entrance to the Garden. Between the two Nelson twins (80’s reference for all my peeps out there) was a picture of the flaming sword God placed there to keep them out. (For the real deal, see Genesis 3:1-24)
We were talking about it, and I asked Caroline what the sword was. She said, “Dad, it’s da tross!” (Translation: it’s the cross). The picture has the sword upside down, with the tip pointing toward the ground and the hilt (the thing that protects your hands from being sliced) up near the top. It does, in fact, form a cross.
Now, I’m not saying Caroline was having some kind of deep moment. Obviously, she was only recognizing a familiar shape. But her comment did get me thinking. When the first man, Adam, sinned, the entire human race (and creation with us) fell under the pain and penalty of sin. The result: we were excluded from paradise and from intimate relationship with our Creator. And a sword (that in my daughter’s imagination anyway) resembled a cross was placed there to keep us out.
But God had a plan from the very beginnings of time. The way wouldn’t be blocked forever. No, for God planned to send His own Son to pay the penalty for Adam’s sin (and yours and mine) on a cross. That cross was a sword of it’s own, cleaving history in two and forever shattering the power of sin and death. The Second Adam, Jesus Christ, made a new and living way for us to enter into relationship with the Father (Hebrews 10:19-20). The sword no longer stands in our way! We are free to enter in!