Friday, September 12, 2014

The First Mourning

Our earth is beautiful, but for all that, it is still cursed. I wonder what the Garden of Eden looked like! The place was created directly by God, and it was earth as He intended it to look.

He created Adam and then Eve, and the two were as humans intended to look.

For a while, a probably brief while, everything was perfect and in balance and harmony. Adam loved Eve, Eve loved Adam, they both loved God, the animals were friendly and submitted to man, who cared for them lovingly.

Then sin came,

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (Romans 5:12)

Eve sinned, then Adam. How did God feel? We know He feels. He takes delight, He is angry, He loves. I wonder if He mourned the eternally changed relationship He'd had with His humans, who no longer glorified Him. They destroyed the very purpose for which they were made. We know He cursed them (Genesis 3:16, 17). Perhaps the LORD mourned.

It wasn't long after, Cain slew Abel. Cain was the first human to be born. Abel was the first human to die. Brothers, yet sin came between them and Cain killed Abel in a jealous fit. We follow what happened after that. Genesis 4 shows the conversation with Cain and God. The discovery of the murder. The penalty. And then we see Cain go off and our eyes travel down the biblical road to follow the story of sin and redemption as it is laid until its conclusion in Revelation.

But turn your eyes back to Abel for a moment. We do not know how it came about...but at some point Abel's mother and father of all the living, Eve and Adam, must have discovered their son, laying dead on the ground, blood pooled around his head.

We know both of them were familiar with death. Their spiritual life died the moment they disobeyed ("surely you won't die" the serpent lied in Genesis 3:4). They were familiar with death because God killed the first animal to make clothing out of its skin (the first sacrifice to cover them in their sin). We know they must have killed an animal themselves because they had to eat. The two humans who had never seen blood before grew to know it intimately once they sinned.

And then...the blood of their son. The bible does not record the discovery of Abel's body, nor his burial (as far as I know). But perhaps the scene looked like this.

The First Mourning (Adam and Eve mourn the death of Abel); oil on canvas 1888 painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

Oh, the searing pain of losing a son! A pain that would be replicated again and again through history as sin took its toll on a million mothers in epochs to come! A grief that the Father Himself would know soon enough!!

The first death was of a beloved son.

The last death was of a beloved Son.

Praise our Holy Savior for His death, for through Him we have life! Praise our Resurrected Savior for vanquishing sin!


4 comments:

  1. So beautifully written, thank you for the encouragement you write to us and maybe do not realize how powerful it is.

    God bless you, Elizebeth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an emotional read - from beauty to death to hope. Thank you Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete

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