Saturday, June 5, 2010

The First Sacrifice

"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" Genesis 3: 6-11

21"And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them." Genesis 3:21

As is known, Genesis 3 tells of the fall of man. Adam and Eve eat of the forbidden fruit, and in doing so, their eyes are opened to their nakedness. Their sin brought a deep sense of guilt and shame. As a result they attempt to hide themselves and cover their nakedness. More so, Adam's sin is imputed to all those who are in him. As all humans are by nature in Adam, that is why we faced with the same guilt and shame that go along with our rebellious hearts.

However, reading this passage the other day, the thing that struck me was God's actions that followed. Following the fall, God clothes Adam and Eve's nakedness. He covers their guilt and shame. How does he do this? He uses animal skins. This means that something had to die in order for their guilt and shame to be covered. Something had to pay the price. The clothing is a free gift of God's grace and provision, but it was not without a cost.

In the Old Testament, God institutes animal sacrifices in order to atone for sin. However, these were not permanent. They, along with the first sacrifice in Genesis 3, were just a foretaste of the ultimate sacrifice to come; the ultimate sacrifice that came in the person of Jesus Christ. Unlike the previous sacrifices, the Cross was once and for all. Jesus took the full sting of death, in order to clothe those who trust in Him. This sacrifice is sufficient to completely remove all the guilt and shame from those who are in Adam's helpless race. More so, not only is our guilt and shame completely removed, but we are clothes in much more than animal skins. We are clothed in the perfect righteousness of the Son of God. This is good news.

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