"The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives that belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone." (John Stott, from The Cross of Christ)
If you've ever had a dermatologist do a full body scan, then you know what being fully exposed is all about. Unsettling. Every blemish gets examined. Every outward imperfection acknowledged. There is no place to hide.
With God we get that full body scan every day, says John Stott. He says "we cannot escape the embarrassment of standing stark naked before God. It's no use our trying to cover up like Adam and Eve in the Garden. Our attempts at self-justification are as ineffectual as their fig-leaves. We have to acknowledge our nakedness, see the divine substitute wearing our filthy rags instead of us, and allow him to clothe us with his own righteousness."
Every now and then I'll have that dream. You know the one. I'm going about my business in a public place and suddenly realize that I'm, as we say in the South, "buck neck-ed," in my birthday suit, with no where to run to. With me I'm often back in college in the girls dorm. (And no, this was never a deep-seated fantasy.) It's disturbing. It's embarrassing. Psychologists say that most people have had such dreams.
There's a reality the dream reminds me of though: To God, I really am naked. Jesus sees right through me, right to my rotten core. He took my shame. And me? I get a new dream -- one where I have clothes, His clothes.