chose skins to cover Adam and Eve (3:21). "And the Lord God
made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them."
the Scriptures, Garments are symbols of righteousness; either
God's all sufficient righteousness or man's self-made righteousness.
The prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 61:10,
I will rejoice
greatly in the Lord,
My soul will
exult in my God;
For He has
clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped
me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom
decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride
adorns herself with her jewels.
also speaks of selfrighteousness in the following statement.
"For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all
our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither
like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away"
(Isaiah 64:6). " I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
My justice was like a robe and a turban" (Job 29:14).
of skin with which the Lord clothed Adam and Eve represent righteousness
provided by Him in which they could stand in His holy presence.
These coats of skin are a type of what God provided for us in
the imputation of His righteousness through Jesus Christ. Behind
those garments, that God made for Adam and Eve has been sacrifice
and death. No doubt, God had given instructions of some kind about
sacrifice. We do not have any exact word regarding this instruction,
however, from the context of chapters three and four in comparison
with the book of Hebrews I thank we can accept here an incipient
idea of the sacrifices which will follow in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Since a life had to be sacrificed before Adam and Eve could have
been clothed with "coats of sins", there was a substitutionary
death. God must always provide adequate covering for man to stand
before Him clothed in righteousness. Only in Christ is man ever
E. J. Young,
a Hebrew scholar writes, "It would also appear that this
act of God in the taking of animal life laid the foundation for
animal sacrifice." In this passage we see the pattern for
all salvation history. God took a sacrificial animal (probably
a lamb), slew it before the eyes of Adam and Eve and wrapped the
skins about their naked bodies. No doubt, at that time, God gave
them instructions about sacrifice and covering of sins. God laid
down an eternal, divine principle from which there is no deviation.
is of grace. The animal was God's gift and not the work of man.
The Lord furnished the skins to cover Adam and Eve. They did nothing,
absolutely nothing to satisfactorily cover themselves. The only
sacrifice God will accept will be His work and His gift. "The
Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed
them." God did it all! That is the way grace operates.
would be an innocent substitute. It was an innocent victim. God
could not obtain the skins of the substitute without putting it
to death and shedding its blood. The Hebrew word for "garments"
or coats of skins signifies a complete covering from head to foot.
The same word is used for the high priestly robe, which covered
the whole body. Adam's leaf covering was sufficient only to cover
his loins. God's provision was sufficient to cover his whole body.
In the fullness
of time, God provided His own perfect sacrifice to cover our sins
and provide us His righteousness. As believers in the Lord Jesus
Christ, we are clothed with His perfect righteousness. How tragic
that we go around trusting in inadequate coverings for our sins,
when only the perfect all sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ
describes the first worship service and God's acceptance of a
sacrifice in worship.
of the lamb begins in this passage and is developed throughout
the Scriptures until the grand climax in Revelation. The great
crimson thread is woven throughout the following passages: Genesis
22:8; Exodus 12; Leviticus 16; Isaiah 53; John 1:29, 36; Acts
8:26ff; I Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 5:9, 12; 6:15-17; 7:9-17;
17:14; 19:11-21; 21:7-9, 22, to name just a few.
fulfillment is found in the Lamb of God who takes away the sin
of the world. Abel's offering involved the sacrifice of a lamb
and with it the shedding of its blood.
Abel's offering. He rejected Cain's.
his offering "of firstlings of his flock and of their fat
portions." It was a sacrificial lamb. Cain's offering was
far more attractive than Abel's was, but Abel's was what God wanted.
Cain offered sacrifices that were the labor of his own hands.
Abel's offering anticipated the coming of the Lamb of God. There
is only one way for a sinner to approach a holy God and that is
through shed blood. "Without the shedding of blood, there
is no remission of sins" (Hebrews 9:22). It is an echo of
Leviticus 17:11. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood,
and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for
your souls: for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes
atonement." If you have a problem with Abel's sacrifice read
what the same Jewish writer says a little later, " . . .
Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood,
which speaks better than the blood of Abel" (12:24).
While the blood of Abel was prophetic and pointed forward to that
which was to be, the blood of Jesus, on the other hand, declares
the whole work of salvation is finished. The blood of Abel asked
for atonement to be made, the blood of Jesus declared that the
atonement had been made (Genesis 4:910). Abel's testimony
is recorded for us in Hebrews 11:4. It says, " By faith Abel
offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he
obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about
his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks."
In the fullness
of time, the LORD God sent His Son Jesus Christ to make atonement
for sin once for all. What begins as a small ray of light in Genesis
shins forth in full noonday sun in the Gospels. Jesus died for
our sins, yours and mine. God made Him sin for us in order that
we might become the righteous in God's sight. Read I Corinthians
5:21 and I Peter 1:1821.
How did Abel
know about animal sacrifices? God made Adam and Eve "coats
of skin" (3:21). We cannot read that without seeing behind
those coats there had been sacrifice and death. In addition, behind
that fact some instruction had been given, some method declared
some way indicated by which they were told to worship Him. Worship
demands the approach based upon sacrifice. We can never come to
God to worship save by way of the Cross. God accepted Christ's
offering of Himself for our sins. There is no other way for us
to come to God. Are you clothed in the perfect righteousness of