by Kristen C. Strocchia
“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
From the first sin on the planet to the last, only bloodshed can atone–that is make amends, make reparation, make restitution, or set to right. Adam and Eve’s very first sin allowed evil into the world, exposed their shame and guilt, riddled their relationship with God in fear, and required that an animal be sacrificed to cover their nakedness.
And here we see that God is the one who lets fall the axe. He kills one of His own creatures to cover the sin of the man created in His own image and the woman who was taken from his side. But why did God need to make them clothes form animal hide when Adam and Eve had already covered themselves in fig leaf clothing [Genesis 3:7]?
Clearly, God’s message to them is that the fig leaves were inadequate. Perhaps Adam and Eve didn’t cover enough of themselves. Perhaps the fig leaf garments would have worn out too quickly so that they would regularly find themselves remaking their clothes. Perhaps the evil that they’d allowed into the world would too easily tear through fig leaves, hurting Adam and Eve. Whatever the exact reason, we can be sure of one thing, their chosen sin-cover was insufficient physically as well as spiritually.
The same is true of our lives today. All we like sheep have gone astray [Isaiah 53:6]. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God [Romans3:23]. There is no one righteous, not even one [Romans 3:10]. Unlike Adam and Eve, we were born into sinful human bodies and a sin-bound world. But just like them, God has offered a sacrifice to make amends for the sin we’re in. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life,” [John 3:16].
When we try to say, “I’m a good person,” or, “I’ve never hurt anyone, at least not on purpose,” we’re trying to cover ourselves with fig leaves just like Adam and Eve did about 6,000 years ago. If we try to extract from the Bible a checklist of works that will get us into heaven, we’re denying the truth that blood must be shed to atone for our sins. Scripture is clear, that the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23], but it is also clear that our own sinful deaths will never gain us access to eternity with our holy Creator in heaven. Only Jesus–the Son of God–and him crucified in our place can secure our eternity.
When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we–like Adam and Eve before us–put on the fur garments that God has specially made to cover our sins. For all of us who are baptized into Christ have clothed ourselves with Christ [Galatians 3:27]. And it is His righteousness alone that can enter heaven’s gates one day.
Have you accepted Christ’s sacrifice for your sin? Or are you trying to cover yourself with good works in hopes you can do enough to gain eternity?