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The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.[1] Before Adam sinned against God, he was the image of God without sin, and although naked, he felt no shame because God was not ashamed of His Image, which meant God felt no shame Himself. We forget we are the image of God and that if we suffer shame, then God suffers shame.

After Adam disobeyed, his and Eve’s eyes were open to see their nakedness, and they covered themselves with fig leaves, which they sewed together. Sin makes us ashamed of what we are—God’s Image in its nakedness. What is this nakedness aside from the issue of the lack of clothing? It also means the plainness of what we are, or rather what God is, is seen openly and plainly in us. Being the Image means being the way God would present Himself in the flesh for all to see. God is Spirit, but His Image is a man of flesh, so man is the way God sees Himself, His Self Image in the flesh. Man is not the way God sees Himself in the Spirit, but in the flesh, and Jesus is the exact way God sees Himself, as God is, in the flesh. And God knows no shame, which is why His image, the man and his wife, knew no shame though they were naked as long as there was no sin, no disobedience, which is a deviation from the perfect.

As such, God is Perfect, so perfect that He knows no shame, that is, there is nothing that God is ashamed of about Himself. However, when we, His image, sinned, we brought shame not just on us, although the focus on shame in the Bible is always about us being ashamed. No, when we sinned, the shame we brought on ourselves we brought on the image of God, and therefore, through us – sin through us – brought shame to God. Satan is not God’s image, but merely a model of perfection, and when he sinned, he did not bring shame to God, merely to perfection, which, although being part of God’s Being, is not God, for God is Love, not perfection, even though He is Perfect.

Throughout the Book of Psalms, the lament and fear of the psalmist is always, “Do not let me be put to shame.”[2] Just like Adam, we are more concerned about covering up our nakedness and shame than we are concerned about covering up God’s shame that we have brought to God because of our sin. Because of our sin, God had to kill an animal, a lamb, to cover us up, as it is written: The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.[3] The disobedience of one man, with one sin, forced God to kill an animal to cover up the nakedness of His image. And when God was covering up His image, He was also covering Himself. Because Adam became ashamed of his nakedness, it meant that he was ashamed of what God was revealing of Himself in the flesh. Sin makes us see the nakedness of God’s Image and judge it as shameful, and in this way, sin causes God shame.

Daniel, in his prayer, said, “Lord, You are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where You have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to You. O Lord, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against You.”[4] Daniel saw the shame of Israel, but even Daniel did not see the shame brought to God by Israel. He forgot, indeed, Israel forgot, they did not choose God, but God chose them. God said, “Out of all nations you will be My treasured possession. Although the whole Earth is Mine, you will be for Me a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”[5]

So then, Israel was God’s sovereign choice, and in sin, wickedness and rebellion, the one person (people) they brought shame to was themselves. They could not bring shame to themselves as such, for they were a nation of slaves, and indeed as Moses said, “It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations.”[6] As such, when Israel sinned and forsook God in their rebellion, they did not bring shame upon themselves as much as they brought shame upon God, who chose them. It would have been better if even Daniel had said, “Lord, You are righteous, but this day we have brought You shame.” Instead of covering up their own nakedness, it would have been better if Adam and Eve saw the shame they had exposed God to.

Likewise, when we disobey the Father and do not listen to Jesus, but seek to go and listen to others or seek to go our own way, we have sinned, yes, but in terms of shame, we have brought shame not only to ourselves, but more importantly, shame to the Father in two ways:

1. When we do not listen to Jesus, we are saying that the Father’s choice of who we should listen to is not good enough.

2. It was the Father who chose us for Jesus, and so when we sin, we are saying the Father does not know how to choose, and in this way, we bring shame to God.

We go our own way first, like Peter and John did, running to examine the empty tomb after they heard all the things the women told them,[7] the things they heard from the angels, especially these words, “He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.”[8] Peter, John and James should have remembered what Jesus said to them a few weeks ago on the Mount of Transfiguration, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”[9] Had they remembered, they would not have rushed off to the tomb, but would have then told the others what they heard and saw on that mount. But Peter and John went to the tomb and then went home, and even when Jesus then told the women to “Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me,” no one went that day. No one got up to make an effort to go to Galilee. Two went to Emmaus and the others locked themselves in a room.

Do you see? Do you see the embarrassment they brought the Father and Jesus? Do you see the shame they brought to God? There is Jesus waiting at Galilee with the Father, both of Them, and most likely with the Holy Spirit, for the ones they have chosen, chosen to follow Jesus. For Jesus said of the eleven, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”[10] Can you hear Satan and his demons laughing? God the Father and the Son stood up by Their chosen ones because they did not remember what they were told, they did not believe what they were told and they did not obey what they were told.

Jesus walking alone on the road to Emmaus to catch up to the two disciples is not God’s idea of bringing glory to Jesus. Jesus having to break into a locked room like a thief is not God’s idea of bringing glory to Jesus. Jesus having to allow Thomas to put his hands into His wounds before he would believe is not God’s idea of bringing glory to Jesus. But that is what we force Jesus to do when we do not remember, do not believe and do not obey what He said.

It was, in fact, a playing out of the Parable of the Wedding Banquet: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for the son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.”[11] Consider the king’s shame before his servants, not to mention his enemies, or, as the Chinese put it, the loss of face the king suffered. Immediately, it was the king who was humiliated and disgraced because those who were chosen did not come.

That morning, as on so many other times, the chosen ones of God brought humiliation and shame to God because they did not remember, believe and do what they were told. So, what did God have in mind for us that morning? What did we miss out on? Exodus 19 gives the clue of what was prepared, no, not clue, it gives a shadow of what was prepared. The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear Me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you. Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”[12] And as you read the rest of the chapter, we see how God presented Himself to Israel. When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.[13]

This is what the disciples missed out on, a replay of Mount Sinai, except on a more glorious scale than we can imagine. The events of Exodus 19-20 had the following purpose for Israel:

1. God would speak to Moses so that the people would always trust Moses. It was God’s way of ensuring that Moses could govern without too many problems.

2. It was the handing down of the constitution of the Nation. The Law of God that He gave Moses, as He said, “These are the Laws you are to set before them,”[14] was the constitution of Israel, the Laws upon which all other laws of that nation would be based.

Now, it is common practice to have the constitution of a nation drafted and approved – that is, agreed upon – before you declare that nation into existence. God gave Moses the constitution of Israel at Mount Sinai before the Kingdom of Israel came into existence, so that when they entered the Promised Land, they already had their constitution with them.

So then, is it not feasible, can you not see, that the Lord was calling them to the Mount of Transfiguration? And note that it was after three days of preparation as well, three days of mourning and washing their hearts and souls with tears, rather than their clothes, to go to a mountain, the mountain that Peter, James and John could testify to, so that all things were settled by three witnesses. There they, the disciples, were to gather, and all Israel. I say all Israel because on the day of Pentecost, a wind blew to draw the people of Jerusalem to the house where the disciples were in Acts 2. Now, we know Acts 2 was the patch up event, not the original event. If that happened in Acts 2, then on Resurrection Day at the Mount of Transfiguration, the same wind could blow through the whole land and assemble the people. It is written: On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. …and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder.[15] Who was blowing that trumpet? It certainly wasn’t a man.

So, could not there have been trumpets blowing louder and louder until all the land was drawn to Galilee? For was not a light lit in Galilee, as it is written: But in the future He will honour Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordon— The people walking in darkness have seen a great Light.[16] And did not Jesus say, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”[17] So then, in the same way, could not the Jews and the Gentiles be drawn to the Mount of Transfiguration to witness the cloud of God’s glory ablaze on it, and Jesus standing there with His disciples and the Father speaking to them? So that as He spoke to Moses so that the people would put their trust in Moses, the people of Israel and the Gentiles would now always put their trust in Jesus and His disciples. Perhaps even – I say perhaps for now, for it may only be my imagination, but I too think I have the Spirit of God who reveals the thoughts of God to men – before the eyes of all peoples gathered, the Lord would transfigure the disciples as He was transfigured, and cause their faces to shine like the sun and their clothes to glow like lightning, even as the Father spoke from the cloud. And then, the people would witness the Lord and His disciples go up the mountain into the cloud, just like Moses, to spend forty days in the presence of the Lord and receive the Law of the Kingdom of Christ, just as Moses received the Laws of Israel before Israel became a nation.

Why else was it that Jesus, as it is written: appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God?[18] Why those forty days again after three days of preparation? Imagine, if you will, the twelve as chosen by the Lord, with Judas’ replacement chosen by the Lord and not by the lot as Matthias was, coming off that mountain with the New Constitution for the Kingdom of Christ, to teach the people, to prepare them for the coming Kingdom of Christ.

Essentially, the Gospels, as we call them, would have come down that mountain full and complete, just as Israel received her laws full and complete. Can you see the difference between Israel and the church? Israel received her full set of laws completely dictated from the beginning through Moses. We had to piece together the New Testament from a collection of writings by various authors. No wonder the Jews hold to their law and look at ours and wonder what do they have. How different the church would have been. How different the world would have been. But they did not remember, they did not believe and they did not do what they were told. And here we are in the year 2007AD, as the Romans call it; what can we do?

In Malachi 3:16-18, it is written: Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honoured His Name. “They will be Mine in the day when I make up My treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

We can talk with each other about what? Our problems? The weather? Politics? Humanity? No, about righting the wrong we have done to God and the shame we have brought Him and find ways to correct it. As we speak, pray, propose, agree and declare, what we consider to be ways to wipe away the shame we have brought to Jesus, the Lord will listen and hear. And if we are heard by the Lord, then whatever we have asked for, wished for, willed for, will be done for us, for it is not our shame that we are asking God to remove, but the shame we brought to His Son, Jesus.

And so, you will see the distinction between those who forsake the Lord and those who are concerned for the Lord’s welfare, between:

· Those who are concerned for their shame and those who are concerned for God’s fame.

· Those who are concerned for their fame and those who are concerned for God’s shame.

· Those who want God to greet and reward them in Heaven and those who want to greet and worship God on Earth.

· Those who work for their inheritance and their eternity and those who work for Jesus’ inheritance and His eternity.

You will see the distinction just as you see the difference between darkness and light. And the light of His transfiguration will cause all other lights to be as darkness.

So, remember what you have heard, believe what you have been told, and do what He said—exactly the way He said it. Amen.


 

[1] Genesis 2:25

[2] Psalm 25:2,20; 31:1,17; 71:1

[3] Genesis 3:21

[4] Daniel 9:7-8

[5] Exodus 19:5

[6] Deuteronomy 9:5

[7] Luke 24:9

[8] Matthew 28:7

[9] Matthew 17:9 (Mark 9:9)

[10] John 15:16

[11] Matthew 22:2-4

[12] Exodus 19:9-11

[13] Exodus 20:18

[14] Exodus 21:1

[15] Exodus 19:16,19

[16] Isaiah 9:1-2

[17] Matthew 5:14

[18] Acts 1:3

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