As a Dad I enjoy the privilege of reading good books to my children. I love seeing them sitting still to listen, focusing on the words and illustrations. But I especially enjoy when I have the chance to read them a book that is theologically rich, well-crafted, and beautifully illustrated. This was the case earlier this year when I picked up a copy of The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross, written by Carl Laferton and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri.
Think about that title for a moment. What is the author after? Remember in the Garden of Eden God dwelt with his people? But, after sinning they were cast out of the Garden. Because of sin, God said, “Get out!” Then God came to dwell with his people in a different way, through the Temple. But, even here, because of sin, God said, “Stay out!” This large curtain declared that the way to God was still obstructed to man because of sin. However, what happened on the cross? God came to us in his Son and he was cast out. He bore our sin on the cross. And as Jesus died the curtain in the temple was torn in two. Through the death of Christ God was declaring that sinners may now draw near to God.
Isn’t this a wonderful thematic way to tell the biblical story? Friends, this book is not just for children, but for all who with child-like faith, draw near to God. I was reading it before preaching on Good Friday and was just shredded with the weight of what Christ had accomplished. What a glorious Savior indeed!
The age range on the book is certainly 3 and up.
I have been meaning to write a brief review and to point people to this resource for awhile but I noticed this week that the publisher is significantly reducing the price of the book (link). Also, they have partnered with Trillia Newbell to produce a video of her reading the book aloud. At the bottom of this post you can see the video of Trilla’s reading and a preview of all of the illustrations.
One other note on this book. Evidently, the illustrator was very intentional with her work, even hiding a number of details in the book. You might find this article on the book interesting.
I praise God for creative Christians to remind us (adults and children alike) of the beautiful work of God in Christ.