Now is the time of leaves. We have a fig bush in our back yard. Two large, deeply lobed fig leaves placed together makes a good pattern for a garment similar to a pair of shorts. If you sewed them together on the sides, leaving the top open, and attaching the bottom tip of the leaves, leaving space for legs to go through, they would make a good pair of shorts – for a while. When they dried, you would again be frolicking in your birthday suit.
The Bible is an amazing book. It tells how Adam and Eve went from innocence to the ingenuity of covering their naked realization of sin with fig leaves sewed together. They were placed in the garden and prophetically had freedom to eat of all the trees of the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life was in the garden. They could eat of that. But the law, just the knowledge of good and evil, brings death. They could not have life by the law. The law was given to expose sin. But they chose to attempt to live by that law, by that knowledge of good and evil. The results were inevitable. They died spiritually. To try to be good and do better, they made the attempt by their own religious efforts. With the fig leaves drying up in time and with this not sufficing as a permanent solution, God himself provided coats of animal skins to cover their nakedness and shame realized by sin in their lives (Genesis 3). With an animal being slain for them, this was a prophetic move on God’s part pointing to the future ultimate solution for the sin of all mankind – the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. We can never keep the law perfectly and be good enough to qualify entrance into the purity of heaven.
After a meeting in prison, I asked an inmate, “If you died and came before God, and he asked you, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’”, what would you say? He was speechless. I shared with him how Jesus Christ lived a totally righteous life and gave himself as the sacrifice to pay for our sins. When we turn from trusting in our goodness and ability to be good, and turn to Jesus Christ trusting in and holding to what he did for us as our salvation before God, that is what will get us into heaven. He received that Word, prayed, and I will baptize him in the next scheduled time. His belief in and identification with Jesus Christ is his salvation. In Christ he can be filled with the Spirit of God and walk with God in victory and life now and forever. As long as we are living in the law of our goodness and ability, we fall short. When we count on Jesus alone for our right standing with God, we can live forever.