Today’s Reading: Genesis 3:1-21
Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. (Genesis 1:21)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What’s the first sacrifice in the Bible? Is it when Noah steps out of the ark onto the dry land of the new creation? Is it the animals or offerings of the field that Cain and Abel brought to the Lord? Those are all sacrifices, but they are not the first.
If you listen to the words of Genesis 3:21, it appears that the first sacrifice to cover sin follows closely on the heels of Adam and Eve’s fall into sin. It seems like such a small verse. Like a small town you pass on the interstate. Blink and it’s gone. The Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed Adam and his wife.
Clothing made of animal skins could only have come from one place. An animal gave its life to clothe naked, guilty, ashamed Adam and Eve. After the curses. After the promise of the Seed of the Woman who would crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15). God goes to work as a gracious tailor, exchanging Adam and Eve’s fig leaves for a robe of sacrificial righteousness. They were covered by the death of an animal. A substitute. A sacrifice.
In the Scriptures, atonement for sin is always a bloody business. This unnamed animal here in Genesis 3. The sacrifices of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The countless sacrifices of Aaron and the Levites in the tabernacle and later the temple. It all points us to the great sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross for Adam and Eve and all creation, and for you.
Jesus, the innocent, holy, spotless Lamb of God is bruised, beaten, and bloodied on the Cross to save you. Like Adam and Eve you are clothed in the sacrifice of another. It wasn’t an animal, but the very Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus is your substitute. Your sacrifice.
Jesus dies that we might live. Jesus hangs naked on the Cross to clothe us in the robes of His righteousness. Jesus exchanges our filthy, sin-ridden garments with His holy, spotless garments of salvation. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.