Adam and Eve
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Summary: In Genesis, chapters 1 and 2, we see creation in its perfect state. No disease, no decay, no death. Then, in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve broke the law of God and introduced sin into the world, but God had a plan to redeem man from sin.

In Genesis, chapters 1 and 2, we see creation in its perfect state. No disease, no decay, no death. Then, in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve broke the law of God and introduced sin into the world. This breaking of the law led to disease, decay and death. But God, in His infinite mercy and love, would leave hope for the fallen human race.

Before eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve felt no shame, no guilt and no separation from God. After they sinned, Adam and Eve felt these new and undesirable feelings. In that shame and guilt, they tried to cover up their mistake. In Genesis 3:7, Adam and Eve made themselves clothing of fig leaves to cover up their newly discovered "nakedness". They tried to hide the results of their action. This clothing of "fig leaves" wasn’t enough. God could see right through their facade. But, He saw their deficiency, and instead of exposing their guilt more, He made them a more adequate clothing in Genesis 3:21. This new clothing, identified as “coats of skin”, was fully acceptable and capable of covering up their “nakedness” from God’s perspective.

This story has deep significance. But, before me move on, here are some questions to ponder:

  • Why weren't the fig leaves enough?
  • Why did God have to provide clothing of skin Himself? Where did the skin come from?
  • Why did Adam and Eve recognize their nakedness after sin? and...
  • Why did God include these details in the Genesis story and how do they fit into the plan of salvation?

To understand this story on a deeper level, we must understand the big picture. We must understand the whole plan of salvation. Once we have a grasp on the plan of salvation, then we can uncover the deeper meanings of the individual components of this story. These components include:  

  • Nakedness
  • Clothing of fig leaves
  • Clothing of skin
  • The animal that the clothing came from

The Plan of Salvation

What is “salvation”? In the context of Genesis Chapter 3, it can be defined as, “The process of being rescued from the penalty of sin”. This concept can be seen in the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16. In this Scripture, it tells us that whoever “believes” should not perish (the penalty of sin) but have eternal life. Romans 6:23 tells us that the payment of sin is death. In these two Scriptures, it’s evident that the penalty for sin, death, can be avoided by believing in Christ and, thereby, we are saved. 

"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."  Acts 16:30-31 (KJV)

There is much more to the plan of salvation. In fact, it can never be exhausted. However, we will focus on significant details of this plan in the context of Genesis 3 for now. God is just and perfect (Psalms 18:30) and, because He is perfect, He executes perfect justice. Adam and Eve were told that they would die the same day if they ate from the tree (Genesis 2:17), yet they didn’t die, at least not right away. How was God, being a perfect judge, able to be merciful to Adam and Eve while maintaining the justice of the law? Because of the perfect life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Although it wasn’t completed yet, it was immediately applied at that time. In other words, Jesus Christ stepped in to offer His life and death as payment for Adam and Eve. It wasn’t that God needed a sacrifice to appease His wrath, It was that God “so loved” us that He desired to save us. This sacrifice, provided by Himself, satisfied the claims of justice while providing an opportunity for us to evade death and be given eternal life and joy again.

Some might consider, however, that Jesus died 4000 years after Adam and Eve committed the first sin. Revelation gives us a clue as to how God could enact this plan of salvation ahead of time.

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."  Revelation 13:8 (KJV)

If you had any question who the Lamb is, it is Jesus Christ, of course.

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."  John 1:29 (KJV)

Why is Jesus called the Lamb of God? In the Old Testament, God instituted a sacrificial system to help His people get an idea of what the price of their sins were, the death of an innocent being. What better representation could be used than a docile, harmless lamb to represent the soft and gentle nature of Jesus Christ?

Notice the Lamb was slain “from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). We know Jesus died much later than the foundation of the world. This must mean that God implemented the plan of salvation long before Jesus went to the cross. This is where Genesis 3 comes into play. 

As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, they were required to die. However, the Father and Christ had a “counsel of peace” (Zechariah 6:13) to determine the fate of humanity. Christ, the Lamb of God, pleaded with the Father for our sakes. As the Bible says, Jesus “ever liveth to make intercession” for us (Hebrews 7:5). Despite how difficult it must have been for the Father to accept this plan, He “so loved the world that He gave” His Son to us, willingly. 2 Corinthians 5:19 tells us that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them…”. 

Although it wasn’t revealed wholly and completely to the human race, God sacrificed an animal and used its skin to “cover” Adam and Eve. This was to show Adam and Eve that their sin would be “covered” by the life of an innocent being. When God sees them, He no longer sees a sinful Adam and Eve but a righteous life in their place. In addition, He also sees that the price for sin has been paid rather than seeing sin go unpunished.

That lovely Jesus. He didn’t just suffer a human death for us. He paid the price that we should have paid -- complete and total separation from God, the source of life. Jesus died a supernatural death feeling the agony of God’s wrath.

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  Matthew 27:46 (KJV)

"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones."  Zechariah 13:7 (RV)

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."  Isaiah 53:4 (RV)

From these three texts, we can see that it was God, the Father, who was executing judgment on Jesus Christ for the benefit of the whole human race. The famous John 3:16 starts off with “For God so loved the world…” God so loved every single human being He created and Jesus paid the price for every single human being all at once. 

 No torture invented by mankind can compare to the agony the Christ went through for our benefit because of the mental anguish He suffered. Jesus stayed on the cross not because men had nailed Him to it, but because His love for mankind held Him there. He could have come down at any time. And the devil was torturing Him throughout that trial - telling Him He should get off and save Himself, telling Him it would not do any good anyways, telling Him He hadn’t done enough and it would not save the people He was dying for. Satan used men to taunt Jesus as He was on the cross. All of this and the knowledge of the weight of sin for each and every human being that was weighing on Jesus’ heart and separating Him from the Father He loved, is what broke His heart there on the cross. 

We’ve just addressed the overall concept of the plan of salvation from an overarching view. However, there are some significant details hidden in some of the, seemingly, inconspicuous components of this story. Next, we will take a deeper look at the symbols of “nakedness”, “clothing of fig leaves”, “clothing of skin” and the animal that lost its life for Adam and Eve’s sake. These components of the story give more depth and insight into God’s plan to save humanity from the penalty of breaking His law.

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