Sacrifice Required

Imagine the scene in the garden prior to the Fall. Everything operated in perfect harmony. All creation danced in a song of praise for the Creator. The animal kingdom knew no fear of man. No concept of pain or death existed. The earth was full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. But one act of disobedience threw all of creation into a state of corruption and groaning (Romans 8:20–22).

Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the garden was not a mere flirtation with sin—it was an act of high treason against the Creator.  

The holy God, the Provider and Sustainer, the Just and Merciful, the Giver of all good things—spurned. His instructions disregarded. His commandment rebelled against. The penalty for treason had to be paid. Blood must be shed. Death would now enter the perfect garden. If we stood as observers, what would we have witnessed?

Consider the relationship that Adam had with his animal kingdom. Before Eve, the animals were Adam’s only companions. He not only named and cared for them, but Adam probably spent the day playing with them, enjoying their company.

Then death came to the animal world. Genesis 3:21 gives us a glimpse into God’s redemptive plan:

[box]“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”[/box]

It’s only a simple one-sentence statement, a short verse, but one packed with foreshadowing of the Great Redemptive story.

The shadow of the cross falls upon the guilty pair as the first blood is shed—a sacrificial animal, slain to provide garments to cover man’s nakedness. This redemptive act points to the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world” whose holy blood would serve as man’s only atonement (2 Corinthians 5:21; Revelation 5:6–14).

God clothed the first couple—but how? The details are hidden, but a blood sacrifice is clearly implied. I believe an animal was sacrificed to provide the clothing that would cover the first couple.

I believe that animal was a lamb.

In my mind, I picture Adam and Eve transfixed as they witnessed a creature incapable of hostility or aggression, one of their precious lambs, quietly obeying the Creator’s call.

What were they thinking as the Master laid His tender hand on the willing subject’s neck? Were they horrified at their first sight of blood as the lamb’s life ebbed away? Did they feel remorse that an innocent creature was bearing their death penalty and providing the necessary covering for their sin?

I wonder if they relived the horror of that scene every time they dressed in their lamb’s-skin garments. Someday we may know the answers. But for now we understand that this sacrifice would be the first foreshadowing of the Lamb slain for the sin of the world.

This was the first hint of the ultimate sacrifice made at the Cross. 

Today I hope you’ll revisit the sacrifice that was made for your sins. You and I were born spiritually naked. Jesus has provided our covering—robes of righteousness.

When and how did you receive your covering, your robe of righteousness, provided by the blood of Christ?

Adapted from my True Woman Post 9.11.08