Reading: Genesis 3:21

Clothing Adam and Eve in “coats of skin” was an act of divine revelation. The Lord was saying something to Adam, and to us today: He was communicating the manner and method through which He would deal with sin and save His people. What the Saviour spoken of in verse 15 is now confirmed to Adam, giving him assurance of faith by giving him the ordinance of animal sacrifice in which that Saviour was plainly typified and anticipated.

Aprons of fig leaves may hide the physical nakedness from other men, but there is the nakedness of the soul that God can see and only He can cover. The coats of skin identify first the thing covered. Sin must be dealt with; it cannot lie open before a holy God because He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. If I am to find peace with God there must be atonement. My sin has been punished in Christ (1 John 2:2), covered by His righteousness (Isaiah 61:10), removed by Him (Micah 7:19; Psalm 103:12), and put them out of His memory (Hebrews 10:17).

But the second lesson, and perhaps the more poignant one, is what was required for the sin to be covered. God used “coats of skin”: an animal died to cover their nakedness. The life promised by the destruction of death in verse 15 is life at a price; it is the life of a substitute. Someone has to die so that I can live. The justice of God must deal with sin by punishing it; someone else must bear my eternal punishment and give me life.

The good news that invites me to live with confidence and die in peace is that Christ becomes my sacrifice by taking my sins to Himself. He acknowledges my sins to be His, satisfies God’s justice on my behalf, and gives me His righteousness. O, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise!

“Christ’s sufferings, … the one payment of our debt that God would accept: this was the great sacrifice on which our eternal life depended.”   J. C. Ryle (Old Paths, p. 251)

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