It happened in an instant. They had done something horribly wrong. They had been deceived. They fell for the lie, hook line & sinker. They had done the one thing they were told not to do: eat the fruit of that tree. The serpent had made it look so good, seem so good, …… oh, why didn’t they run to their Father? But they didn’t. They jumped in without thinking. Now it was too late. There was no going back.
They knew it almost immediately. When they had eaten that fruit, it didn’t feel good at all. Oh the first bite was sweet and savory, but it didn’t last. Things didn’t happen like the serpent said. Instead they felt shame. It was a horrible, ugly, uncomfortable feeling, this shame.
They tried to cover it. They found some fig leaves. They tried to cover their sin by something they made, something they did.
Then they heard their Father looking for them and they hid. The shame of their sin made them hide. But their Father found them, and then everything changed. Now instead of a life of perfect happiness, being content, not wanting or needing anything…… now their lives would be lives of hardship and pain and trouble and sorrow and anguish and all the things that come with sin.
But something really touches me about this story. Before God sent Adam and Eve forth out of the garden, he did this: “Unto Adam and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
He ‘clothed them’. The fig leaves were not enough. God the Father knew that his children needed more than fig leaves. They needed the skin and the fur of an animal to be covered, to be warmed. I contemplate on Adam and Eve going out of that garden, with only fig leaves on. If they lived in the Northern Plains like I do, they wouldn’t last long. The weather forecast is predicting 10 below zero tonight, with wind chills of 25 to 30 below. They would have died in those conditions with just fig leaves on. But with the skin and the fur of an animal, they would live. Yes, blood would have to be shed. And so God ‘made coats of skins’ so His sinful disobedient children would be adequately covered.
Blood must be shed. Abel understood this better than Cain, when he brought God his first and best lamb as a sacrifice, and God was pleased.
Every one of us will come to understand this at some time in our lives: fig leaves are not enough. We cannot cover ourselves with anything we “make for ourselves”. The Bible calls them ‘filthy rags’ when we try to ‘earn’ our way into heaven. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6
I will just call them fig leaves. I want to strive to be a good person. I want to do acts of kindess to others, I think it can be a good thing to attend church, and sing worship songs, and tithe. I think it’s awesome to pray and read the Bible.
But all of that of itself is fig leaves. It’s not enough. We need a skin to cover our sin. Blood must be shed. As I sit here writing this blog entry, I find myself thinking, “what blood would be enough to cover the sin of the world?….. I find myself repeating in my heart what the apostle John cried out on Revelation 5:2-4. “I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the 7 seals which seal it?’ And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book. And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, He hath prevailed to open the book and loosen the seals.'”
And my spirit soars as I read Revelations 5:11 “I beheld and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessings.”!!!!!!!!
Our Father God provided. He sent His only son. And Jesus willingly shed his blood, so that we could be covered. And being covered we would not die, but live. Someday this world of pain and sadness and disappointments and troubles will be over. One of these days we will be back in the ‘Garden of Eden’, in our Father’s presence, walking with Him daily. It’s where we were meant to be all along.
Thank you, Abba. Thank you, Jesus and Holy Spirit. Thank you that you have provided the blood.
Because fig leaves are not enough.