Sunday: The First Sacrifice
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Read Genesis 3:9–21. What was God’s response to Adam and Eve after they sinned?

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world, in a sanctuary-like garden, and God granted them face-to-face communion with their Creator. Their first sin opened a nearly insurmountable breach in their relationship to God. However, God had already planned how to counter such a breach of trust, and even before there came any judgment against them, He gave them the hope of a Savior (Gen. 3:15).

“Adam and Eve stood as criminals before their God, awaiting the sentence which transgression had incurred. But before they hear of the thorn and the thistle, the sorrow and anguish which should be their portion, and the dust to which they should return, they listen to words which must have inspired them with hope. Though they must suffer…, they might look forward to ultimate victory.”—Ellen G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 16.

The Lord showed them the ultimate foundation of that victory when, immediately after His judgment speech, He made for them garments of skin to cover their nakedness and shame. Although unstated, it may be reasonable to assume that an innocent animal had to die for this, and perhaps even that it was understood as a kind of sacrifice (Gen. 3:21).

God’s providing clothes for the culprits became a symbolic act. Just as the sacrifices in the desert sanctuary guaranteed the special relationship between God and His people, so the clothing in the Garden assured the guilty of God’s unchanging good will toward them.

So, from the earliest days of human history, sacrifices taught that sinful humans could find union with God, but only through the death of Jesus, prefigured in those sacrifices.

Reread Genesis 3:9–21. What does it say to you that even before God spoke any words of judgment to the guilty pair, He gave them the promise of “ultimate victory”? What does this say about God’s attitude toward us, even in our fallen state?

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Sunday: The First Sacrifice — 22 Comments

  1. At times I cannot fathom the love God has for us as humans.Adam and Eve sinned and after he meted out the consequences of their actions ,he clothes them remembering and knowing how totally uncomfortable they felt 'naked'. I feel so much hope as I look at God's loving nature knowing without a shadow of a doubt that even after I deal with the consequences of my sin ,he will take away the nakedness of guilt , the nakedness of loneliness etc and we strive to become holy as he is holy .....God just wants what is best for me and you.

    Like(39)
    • "Behold the lamb of God who takes a way the sin of the world" The voice in the wilderness proclaimed. This assurance that today my sins are not just covered by the blood of an animal but taken away by Jesus himself (The Judge) gives me the boldness to appear before him knowing that I am no longer naked but covered with his robe of righteousness. Brothers and sisters it is our duty to keep it on that is why Jesus declared in Revelation 16:15 saying "Behold , I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments. Lest he walk naked and they see his shame.

      Like(13)
      • The blood of bulls and goats has never been the covering for sin. These sacrifices all pointed toward Christ, the only One Who has merits enough to be our Sacrifice for sin, and the One Who can clothe us in His righteousness.

        Like(8)
  2. Cover with His blood whiter than snow; fulness of His love then shall I know. My life of scarlet, my sin and woe are all covered with His blood. As the coat of innocent animal's skin was used to cloth our first parents, so does the blood of Christ cloth us with His innocency( the robe of righteousness). His love is uncoprehensible

    Like(7)
  3. It's not stated, but who killed the sacrifice? God or Adam? I would suppose Adam, the guilty one. Just like in the Tabernacle Service. He would have been the one to kill the animal to show his sin caused the death of the Holy One in his place. God provided the covering. Just like He provides our Righteousness.

    Like(3)
    • Thanks, Diann, for this reminder of the nature of the first sacrifice, based on instructions given later.

      The Bible only provides a skeletal outline of what happened, and we have to fill in the details with our sanctified imagination. The Bible says that the Lord made garments of skin for Adam and Eve and clothed them. (Gen. 3:21). Putting that together with other things we know, we come up with this scenario: After God told Adam and Eve what would happen as the result of sin, He elaborated on the promise of Gen 3:15, telling them how breaking the great Law of Life results in death, but that He would die in their place as a human being. To teach them what death means, He had Adam bring a lamb and cut its throat ....

      I'm sure He provided more details, including the instruction to offer lambs as a continuing reminder of the Savior to come. And He used the skin of this lamb (probably stretching it as He did the loaves and the fishes later in His incarnate form)to fashion clothes for them, thus not only showing them how to clothe themselves, but also demonstrating how, through His death in their stead, they could again be spiritually clothed.

      That's what I imagine in outline ... How about you?

      Like(6)
    • It was God who performed the first sacrifice to clothe Adam and Eve. It was the first lesson that " without the shedding of blood there would be no remission for sin." The Creator had to take one of His creatures and sacrifice him for the sin of Adam and Eve. What a profound lesson they learned.

      Like(2)
  4. Romans 5:8 says God commendeth His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. So before God could pronounced the sentence for the transgression of Adam and Eve, He first promised of a SEED(Christ) who shall bruise the head of the serpent. This shows God's love, care and mercies upon us. Gen 3:21 says God made coats of skin and clothed them; vs 9 says that when God called Adam, He said 'when i heard your voice i was afraid because i was naked'. Meanwhile vs 7 adumbrates that Adam and Eve sewed some fig trees to cover their nakedness and yet still they were naked. This means that Jeremiah 13:23 is very true that 'can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots, then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. This means that their nakedness was more than physical nudity thus including nakedness of the soul (guilty); which needed to be covered by more than a physical garments. So instead of the fig leaves of their works with which they unsuccessfully tried to cover their nakedness, God covered them with the robes of a substitute. Instead of their own blood, the blood of innocent victim was shed for them. So as Adventist we must surrender our life to God for Him to cover us with his robes.

    Like(22)
  5. I am so thankful for God's provision of a savior even before the fall. Praise be to God for the precious blood of Jesus the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

    Like(5)
  6. Christ has done more for us than we deserve , how much are we willing to do for others, especially when they messed up? Do you respond to their immediate needs? Are you concerned about their future? What attempts do we make to restore a fractured relationship? Should they just suffer the consequences of their mistake? To know the goodness of God is to show his goodness.

    Like(5)
  7. The lesson makes the statement, "Their first sin opened a nearly insurmountable breach in their relationship to God." Yes, I believe it did but it wasn't a breach on God's part for He wasn't the one running (Gen 3:8). The breach was on the part of man and we have been running from God ever since. There are five verses in the Bible that say that God reconciles us to Him, not the other way around (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5: 18,20; Eph 2:16; Col 1:20). To me that is the danger of sin. It causes us to fear God as an angry judge and because of that we try to separate ourselves from Him rather than loving Him and wanting to be with Him who wants to be with us.

    Like(7)
    • Yes, Tyler. We often run from God. But what does He do? He comes looking for us. God came looking for Adam and Eve. The parables of the lost sheep and coin also show that the Shepherd comes looking for those who are "lost". In Amos 4:6-12, God says over and over "...yet you have not returned to me" so I'm coming to you "prepare to meet your God". In the parable of the Prodigal son, the Father comes running out to the son. After we have hurt God with our sins, He doesn't wait for us to return to Him. He comes looking for us. What mercy! What love!

      Like(4)
  8. [Moderator's note: Please remember to use your full name.]

    {The Lord showed them the ultimate foundation of that victory when, immediately after His judgment speech, He made for them garments of skin to cover their nakedness and shame. Although unstated, it may be reasonable to assume that an innocent animal had to die for this, and perhaps even that it was understood as a kind of sacrifice (Gen. 3:21).}

    I do not think there is any space for speculation or assumption based on which principle? Based on the principle "Thus says the Lord." It is written on Genesis 2:1 "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." God created not anything further after the sixth day. So that He could not have created any cloth but made from what was there.

    Like(3)
    • Yes, I think that is a very good observation. If God had created artificial coates of skin, it would have never ever solved the problem of sin Adam and Eve had run into (Genesis 2:17; 3:6-13). They became corrupted. Having tried to solve their sin problem by making themselves aprons of fig leaves and hiding themselves from the presence of the Lord (Genesis 3:7-8), God solved their problem of sin nakedness in providing the only way of salvation by an atoning blood sacrifice prescribed bei God Himself (Leviticus 17:10). The sanctuary service is shedding light on this incident. Looking forward to the saviour (Genesis 3:15) they needed atonement right now, which was performed by God even within Eden.

      The presence of God in Eden and this first sacrifice indicate a sanctuary like condition in Eden, as also the presence of God in other revelation incidences creates a sanctuary like condition (Genesis 28:16-17; Exodus 3:5; 1 Kings 19:12-13). Nature as such, apart from God, is not a sanctuary. This would tend towards worship of nature rather than worshipping and serving the God of nature (Romans 1:25;Revelation 14:7).

      Blessings

      Winfried Stolpmann

      Like(2)
  9. This is such a wonderful study, however, please someone make the statement very simple and clear;

    "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." Gen 3:15

    I just can't seem to understand.
    I think that Jesus when He came represents the bruise of his head?, not sure.
    The other part I can't put my finger on and I studied, but I guess I not only need you all but I need to pray for the Spirit to guide me more fully in this.
    Thank u ahead for your response.

    Like(3)
    • Zsuzsi, may I first make a simple suggestion that might help. If you can, try to get a good modern Bible translation. Personally, I have trouble with old English. Thee and thou are no longer used and some of the words in the King James Version are so old few people know what they really mean. I use the New King James version for several reasons but there are other versions just as good and maybe even better and they use words that are in common use today that everyone understands. If English is a second language to you there are versions that are made for people that don't know English as well as the language they grew up with.

      The verse in question in the New King James Version is, "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel" (Gen. 3:15 NKJV). The following is my understanding of the verse.

      First of all, God is speaking to the serpent which we believe was simply a mouthpiece for Satan so Adventists believe that God was actually speaking to Satan rather than to an animal.

      First God says that He will put enmity (hostility, bad feelings) between him (Satan) and Eve. Then God extends that enmity to between his seed (offspring) and Eve's seed (offspring) (between the world and the church). Now God talks about Eve's seed and He uses the male gender, single person. I believe this is basically the same sort of a thing that Paul does when talking about Abraham's seed, "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ" (Gal. 3:16 NKJV). So to me the seed that God is specifically talking about is Jesus. So God tells Satan that Jesus would bruise his head meaning it would be deadly while he would only injure Jesus. While Jesus died on the cross He didn't stay there but was resurrected so what happened on the cross was only a wound but Satan will eventually suffer eternal death, the bruise on his head ends up being deadly.

      Like(10)
  10. There's a picture or illustration that describe the brokenness of God's heart when His children rebelled. 2 Samuel 18:33. This touching picture displays how our Heavenly Father feels about His lost children. Not only was He willing to die in our place; He went one step further- He gave Hus greatest gift, His Son. God is not willing that any should perish, Ezekiel 33:11. He is willing and ready to save you. This is why Jesus died in your place. And the resurrection was the blow to Satan's head. The empty tomb pointed us to Christ' work in the heavenly sanctuary.

    Like(8)
  11. Our God is loving and compassionate to us. Though sinners yet he gave us his son to save us from the consequences of sin if only we repent and come back to him. On our own we cant make it we have to depend on christ that our nakedness of sin can be covered by His righteousnes. Thats why after adam and eve sinned they covered themselves with leaves but they hid themselves when God came to the garden. He clothed them with clothes of an animal skin. Thus only christ can take away our sins by covering us with his righteousness when we truly repent and ask for forgiveness. Thanks.

    Like(4)
  12. Often we sin against God and think, we are intelligent no! No men is intelligent than God.
    After Adam and Eve covered themselves with Leaves, not knowing that when you cut the Leaves from the branch they wither, which indicates that once you cut yourself from God you'll die.

    but because God he's a good Lord he made clothing from animal skin for Adam and his wife. This shows that we commit sin and be left embarrassed so God as the intelligent Lord, he come up with the intelligent ways to cover our embarrassment when we confess our sinful ways and admit that

    Like(3)
  13. O love of God how strong and true, eternal and yet ever new, uncomprehended and unbought , beyond all knowledge and all thought. Ive got to be dreaming about a love like this...This allows me to understand the Love of God, especially directed to someone like me

    Like(6)
  14. This lesson to me,reveals that God's love we can never fully comprehend. Having instructed on the forbidden tree clearly,man still fell into the temptation and He(God) made a provision for man to cover his nakedness. He preferred than he sacrifice a pure animal,innocent blood for the continued living of man. Even after he provided man with a way to communicate with Him (ie through prayer). God still longs for us to come back to Him even in our fallen state,he still wants us to offer these sinful bodies as a living,holy sacrifice. While sin separates us from God,He still reaches out to dissolve that separation and our duty remains : to offer ourselves to Him.

    Like(3)
  15. Despite our fallen condition, God loves us. when I think of the disobedience of Adam and Eve and their sentence was death, I see the love of God indescribable manifested by his ultimate sacrifice on the cross and I think I should walk according to Voice GOD.

    Like(1)

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