“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
I ran across this verse recently and it spoke volumes about the depth of God’s love for mankind. You may well know the event in the life of Adam and Eve when sin entered the world through the deception of the devil. God cursed the devil/serpent, then explained to Adam and Eve what would happen as a result of them eating from the tree God asked them not to eat from. (Read all of Genesis 3 for that). If we stopped there, we would assume God was the eternal judge, giving out sentences and punishment for sin. No one would want to have much of a relationship with a God like that.
Verse 21 jumped out at me because it tells me that God was the first one to kill an animal to cover the consequences of man’s sin. God shed innocent blood to cover the shame that was the result of their sin. It’s a perfect picture of what Jesus would do for us on the cross – innocent blood shed to atone for the sin of another! This is God’s mercy in action. Mercy means special and immediate regard to the misery which is the consequence of sin. Just a few verses earlier God also promised that the seed of the woman would, “bruise you (the devil) on the head.” A prophecy about our Savior.
God did not waste any time in His plan to redeem mankind from the result of sin and promised a Savior. This scene in Genesis 3 points to Christ; His dying in our place, His taking the punishment we deserved for our sin, His offering us eternal life instead of eternal separation from God. It is all we need to be redeemed from the curse of sin. He was the innocent one whose blood was shed so that our sin would be covered forever. In fact, in Christ it’s not only covered but completely done away with! And, the clothes we get in redemption – clothes of righteousness – were purchased for us by His innocent sacrifice for our sin. It’s an exchange so grand and so free, all we need do is receive it. Once we know we are fully and perfectly forgiven, God gives us the righteous clothing of His Son Jesus. We have “right standing with God” (which is what righteousness means) based on what Jesus did for us, not based on our behavior. No one can ever do enough to rid themselves of sin – no one. God’s plan for us was born out of great love. God, in His mercy, shed the first blood to cover the consequences of man’s sin. Allow Him to cloth you with His love and mercy. Allow Him to give you His righteousness as a gift. This truth is the only defense against sin in this life. This “truth will set you free” (John 8:32).