For Adam and his wife the LORD God made coats of skins, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
What was the very next thing that God did after telling Adam and Eve a savior would come and they were going to have pain and hard work? The very first death that the universe had ever known happened. It doesn’t actually quite say it, maybe because it blew Adam’s mind when he wrote it down for us, but it did happen. In order for God to take the skin of an animal, He had to kill it.
This tells us something really special about God. He knows that we can never cover our shame by ourselves. We would never be comfortable in His presence (Remember those fig leaf girdles?). God Himself provided a sacrifice for Adam and Eve; He was the first priest between God and people.
Does this remind you of another time in the Bible?
Jesus, through Kind David and others prophesied that, “Sacrifice and offering you did not want, but you prepared a body for me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure. Then I said, see, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do your will, O God.” [By God's] will we are made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:5-7,10
God didn’t really want a bunch of dead, cut up animals, He wanted a pure, holy offering that could truly wash away our sin stains. Before Jesus died, we needed a way to remember our need for someone else to pay the price and cover our sins.
Adam and Eve were really smart people. They had hundreds of years to think about what they had done and what God did. We aren’t told how they realized God wanted sacrifices to show honor to Him, but we know their sons offered things to the Lord when they were still young enough not to be fathers yet.
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of its fat. And the LORD regarded Abel and his offering: Genesis 4:3,4
What kind of offering did Abel bring to God that He wanted to look at? It was a first-time mother’s new lamb, cut up on the altar. It could be that God had earlier killed a sheep so they knew that was the kind of animal God wanted. We don’t know. But we do know lambs are the most common sacrifice God asked for.
When Abraham was stopped from sacrificing his son Isaac, there was a ram to take his place. Jesus Himself is called the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). When Jesus is finally given the scroll to take back power over the earth, He appears as a slain lamb (Revelation 5:6).
Thank you, Lord Jesus for being our covering, our Passover Lamb, the one who goes to God for us so God can be pleased with us again!!!
That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:11b