The body was in the grave until Easter morning, and from that time it lay no more; for then was rightly ended the writhing and the heaving, the groaning and the moaning; and our foul mortal flesh which God took upon himself, which was Adam’s old tunic, tight fitting, threadbare and short – was then made by our Saviour newly beautiful, white and bright and of endless purity, full and flowing...Julian of Norwich. Revelations of Divine Joy; Long Text, Chapter 51.
I was saying to my wife the other day how interesting it is that as we get older, our clothes seem to get smaller. I’ve never quite understood why! Ever since my days in the army, I’ve really hatred wearing ill fitting clothes. One size fits all..they used to say as they handed out the uniforms. Well, I’m 6ft 3 inches tall, so clearly that was not true.
Constriction and restriction is never pleasant. The law of Moses was a necessary and enabling constriction; our sin restricted the type of relationship that we could have with our heavenly Father, but relationship he craved. Then, through the ‘one time fits all‘ sacrifice of Jesus, the ‘old man’ of Adam was, first through the fulfilment of the Law and then through the freedom that Grace brings, finished with for eternity. We are free, no constriction or restriction..only love and relationship to guide and shape us. Our new creation is so precious that it cannot even be compared with the old.
And yet sometimes, we find ourselves reaching back for that ill fitting, threadbare suit. It’s not that we necessarily want to, after all, it’s threadbare tight-fitting and short. But in the absence of real relationship, it’s often the only way that we think that we can feel safe.
The thing is, that old suit no longer exists. All we are reaching for is a shadow, a counterfeit, something that lacks any real substance. And we know how to get rid of shadows, don’t we.