001 - Naked

Posted by Vaughn Edmeade on

In the New Testament, we discover Jesus Christ hanging naked from a tree as part of his death and resurrection experience. To what extent He was naked, we don't necessarily know and the Biblical author seems content to simply refer to his garments being wagered for. The author is likely not too concerned about the extent of Jesus's nakedness and is more interested in making some sort of connection pertaining to the role that nakedness plays in the narrative of the gospel.

This seems to be a type of reversal or undoing of the events in Genesis 3. Back in Genesis 2, God (Elohim) has made the man and the woman in His image and likeness. The author then goes on to say that they were naked and not ashamed. However, in chapter 3, immediately after eating the fruit, their nakedness is revealed to them and they become ashamed of it. They attempt to "clothe" themselves with plants, however, God removes this covering from them and gives them clothing made from skins. In essence, something had to die in order that they would be adequately clothed.

It seems (to me at least) that while Adam and Eve lost their covering and became exposed in Genesis 3 because of their sin, Jesus as a new Adam chose to become sin for us, and similarly lost his clothes, becoming naked in the process. Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness and became fearful because of it. Jesus chose to take on the shame of the cross, of humanity, which was accompanied by his nakedness, yet he did not do it in fear. As a matter of fact, whereas Adam and Eve's nakedness led immediately to backstabbing, backbiting, and blame, Jesus's nakedness was accompanied by forgiving his murderers, finding care for his mother, and welcoming a sinner into His kingdom.

The question we ask here is, based on this information, "Is there good news for the hood?"

I think there is. In the hood where so many mothers have lost sons and daughters to state sanctioned or neighborhood violence like Mary, where many young men have died over sneakers (losing their clothes), where crimes like theft are high due to systemic powers, we have here our Savior who became naked for us so that we could be clothed in His righteousness and allows us to come boldly, not shamefully, before His throne of grace.

That's good news for the hood.


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