“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isa. 59:1, 2). When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in Eden, they chose a life of separation from God. Unfortunately for humanity, apart from God there is no life because He is the life-giver. So God, in His mercy, granted a probationary life for humanity to choose to reconnect with God and live. But this probationary life is plagued with disconnectedness that can only be remedied by reconciliation with God.
Shortly after their sin, Adam and Eve realize that they are no longer the same. Whereas they came from the Creator’s hand naked and unashamed (Gen. 2:25), they now find themselves scrambling for leaves to cover their shame (Gen. 3:7). Something fundamental shifted internally when they sinned, and they sensed they were no longer the persons they were created to be.
In the heartbreaking narration of the events that follow, they hide themselves from the presence of the One who gave them life (v. 8). The way God calls for them in verse 9 intimates that they would typically run to Him when they heard Him coming, so the fact that they were hiding was aberrant behavior. God’s disappointment and sadness is palpable as the free fellowship between Him and humanity is broken. “ ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ ” (v. 11). He had seen everything as it transpired, but even God seems to experience the incredulity of the painful new reality.
Adam, who had broken into poetry in gratitude to God at the sight of Eve (Gen. 2:23), now excoriates God and inculpates Eve for his misdeed. You can feel the warmth of affection between man and wife dissipate. In the beauty of a world freshly spoken into existence by the Creator, when God brought them together (v. 22) Adam and Eve could never have envisioned that they could possibly feel as disconnected as they now did.
Even humanity’s relationship with the rest of creation did not go unscathed. In her response to God’s cross-examination, Eve implicates the serpent (Gen. 3:13). Moreover, the ground is cursed for humanity’s sake (Gen. 3:17). Humanity was meant to nurture and protect the rest of God’s creation (Gen. 1:28), but at the introduction of sin, that relationship is broken.
Sin brought about an internal, spiritual, social, and natural disconnect within the individual, between humanity and God, among humanity, and with nature. We now struggle to reconcile our physical realities with our emotional reality. We fail to see the connection between our social and spiritual lives. Our existence, beginning in Genesis 3, has become fragmented.
In reconciling us to God, Christ’s ministry of reconciliation (cf. 2 Cor. 5:18, 19) fuses all the disconnected elements of our lives back to God’s original design.