30 March 2023 Anno domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
On his introduction to my devotion yesterday, the Rev. Hap Arnold alluded in reference to the skins that covered Adam and Eve after their Fall in Eden, as to the import thereof. He did so to evoke a deeper thought in the meaning that it clearly represents symbolically. In the above text, God has just provided a first glimpse of his plan of salvation to Eve: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) The Seed to which God makes reference is His only Begotten Son thousands of years hence. So the covering of the nakedness of Adam and Eve was supplied by the first death on earth – that of an innocent animal (whom God loved) such as a lamb.
That animal whose life God required as a sacrifice to cover the nakedness (sin) of Adam and Eve was a foreshadow of the Lamb of God to be sacrificed for all sin and not simply that one occasion of disobedience by our ancient progenitors; however, the blood of animals in sacrifice offered only a temporary cleansing from sin. The only sacrifice that would profit for eternal life was that of the Lamb of God which those animal sacrifices were symbolic of. “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7) The kind of cleansing that the blood of Christ cleanses begins in the heart and appears after in the outward form. Hyssop was used as a respiratory cure and as a laxative digestive system. It cleansed the inside intestinal tract first, and then the washing of the outer vessel to become whiter than snow.
That garment that God made for our first parents represents a covering for their sins and ours, too. We all stand naked before God, but in the last day, we will not stand ashamed if we have received Him. Therefore, He has purchased a white Robe of Righteousness for us. That is what the skins of Genesis 3:21 symbolize. Once our inner being is cleansed by the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we shall appear clean and above reproach by the world.
“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:25-26) The sprinkling of the water of baptism is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. First, the inner cleansing, then the outward form.
The most descriptive example of that robe of covering for our filthy sins is that given in Luke 15:32 of the Prodigal Son. The boy never ceased to be a son of his father, however, he went into a far country and spent all his inheritance. Though the father knew that his son was living in sin and want, he never sent for him. Once we have known God, and departed, we must repent ere we return in His grace and favor. When the young man came to himself, he realized the great loss and error of his ways. He returned to his father who saw him from afar and ran to him, and hugged him and demanded that the best robe be brought an put on him, and a ring for his finger, and shoes for his feet. “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.” (Luke 15:20-22)
What do you believe that BEST Robe represented? It was that Robe of Righteousness purchased by our Lord as a covering for our sins (nakedness); and that is what the skins that the Lord took to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve represented. It was a prophetic symbol. We all stand naked in our sins lest we have that Robe of imputed Righteousness provided by our Lord Jesus Christ by His crucifixion and resurrection.
“I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.” (Job 29:14)
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. 8But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” (Isaiah 64:6-8)