Author: Carl Laferton
Author Website: https://www.thegoodbook.com/authors/carl-laferton
Illustrator: Catalina Echeverri
Publisher: The Good Book for Children
Word Count: 818
This story is perfect for ages: 2-4, 4-6, 6+
Straight from Aunty LuLav
This is an INCREDIBLE book!!!
The Garden, The Curtain and The Cross covers mankind’s COMPLETE journey from the Garden, through the Fall, through Temple Worship, the birth of Jesus and then the Cross.
But that’s not the end! Laferton brings us back around through the Resurrection and the opening of Heaven for all who respond to the invitation from Jesus.
WOW! Truly a TON of theology is simply packaged, not compromised, and presented to us as a gift, all in 818 words!
How can you explain the cross in a way that a child can understand it without fear? What about Sin or Eden?
Laferton handles such huge and complex concepts with sensitivity and simplicity, without watering down the Truth of the Matter!
I can only imagine the amount of lasting fruit Carl Laferton & Catalina Echeverri bring to Father God through this precious book!
Scriptural Underpinnings & Positive Themes
THE GARDEN Eden is perfectly described and depicted in colorful illustrations. Genesis 2
“There was nothing bad, ever.
There was no one sad, ever.
And best of all . . . . God was there!”
Understanding the fall of man can be confusing, even to adults. Laferton hits the heart of the matter, the inner motivation of sin. Genesis 3, Romans 5
“They decided they didn’t want to do what God said.
They decided they wanted a world without God in charge.”
THE KEEP OUT SIGN
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this element. It runs like a crimson thread throughout the book. It is a tangible depiction of the separation that sin has caused.
We are told when Adam and Eve left the Garden, God put Warrior Angels there. Genesis 3:24, Isaiah 59.
“The angels were like a big KEEP OUT sign.”
Laferton emphasizes the Keep Out sign in the Temple. He teaches that God told the people to build a Temple for His presence, but put a big curtain around that place. The curtain had pictures of Warrior Angels. Exodus 26:31-35, 2 Chronicles 3:14
“It was a big KEEP OUT sign.”
AHHH – now the happy thing! We read that Jesus died on the cross, AND . . .
“THE CURTAIN TORE! God had ripped up the KEEP OUT sign.”
Hallelujah! You can see why I am crazy about this book.
Matthew 27:50-51. Mark 15:37-39, Luke 23:44-46, Hebrews 9-10
GOD’s LONGING TO BE WITH THE PEOPLE HE CREATED
Throughout the text, you get the sense, Father God tried, to make provision to reconcile with people. We feel His longing to be with us. A rhyme unfolds line by line as we journey through the text. Finally, Jesus speaks it in its entirety at the gates of Heaven:
“God says it is wonderful to live with Him.
Because of your sin, you can’t come in.
BUT I died on the cross to take your sin . . .
So all my friends CAN now come in!”
Laferton handles the sequence of the death, curtain, burial and resurrection with total accuracy. Thank you!
Matthew 27-28, Mark 15-16, Luke 23-24, John 19-20
Also – Thank you for depicting the Temple and the priests carrying out their duties. The illustration is LOVELY!
1 Kings 6-8
The first illustration shows the Garden of Eden to be on earth not floating in some ethereal realm. Thank you! You both have taught so much in few words and text. Genesis 2
In the end, we see Jesus welcoming people who responded to His invitation to come to the place where God lives. The Warrior Angels are standing at the gate, smiling and clapping! YAY!
Hebrews 4:14, 1 Peter 3:17-22, Ephesians 4:9-10
No separation from the waiting time in Heaven, and the literal Millenia, is spoken of, but it is clear in the illustrations that the “forever part” of being with God is back in the Garden, on earth (restored earth Revelation 21) and not floating on a cloud in the sky. The story comes full circle.
The people represented coming to Heaven and being with Father God are people of all colors and nations. Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, came for all the world to be saved and reconciled to God through Him.
John 3:16-21, Revelation 7:9-10, John 1:1-14, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14
Echeverri’s illustrations breathe with the text of the book. She differentiates between God’s presence, and the lack of it, clearly with tone and color. The Garden, the Temple and Heaven, are playful, colorful and bright.
However, in the world, without God in charge, and during the death and burial of Jesus, the colors are dull browns and neutral tones. Everywhere Jesus shows up on earth, He is in full color and the people around Him are joyful, but that dull neutral tone still covers the rest of the scene.
Perhaps one of my favorite illustrations is the Cross. She has drawn the cross, with depictions of sin showing chains, people fighting, barbed wire, scribbles, arrows, etc. Rendered in dark brown and neutral tones, it is effective but not scary. It reminds us, literally, that our sin was nailed to the cross with Jesus. Colossians 2:13-15
The very next scene in the Temple is a riot, in color, with the priests freaking out because the Temple Curtain has ripped in two! Love it!
Adam and Eve are tan-skinned people, with black hair. The Jews, priests and Jesus, in the Temple Era are middle eastern skin tones in varying shades and some men with dark black skin. In Heaven, almost every race shows up!
Each Children’s Book, published by The Good Book for Children, includes a brief explanation of the scriptures addressed in each story. So helpful for the one reading or teaching from the Book!
The End of the Matter5/5 waves
Let’s wave our Lulavs, “Hosanna!” and RUN through the torn curtain to be with Jesus and Father God forever and ever AMEN!
YES! YES! YES! – It’s an Aunty Lulav Favorite!