The First Clothes
Did you know that every time you get dressed, the gospel is preached? How can that be?Let’s rewind to the beginning.
There’s a rule of firsts in God’s Word where the first mention of something defines it and sets a precedent for it. Clothing is no different.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Through the Word, which is Christ, He created the heavens and earth and everything in it. The peak, the crescendo of all creation was the creation of man and woman. God’s glory(Eldredge, Captivating).
And right as we are called God’s glory, we see clearly that all of us fall short. The next scene is the fall:
In the garden, the snake has just confused Eve. She forgot the whole truth of what God commanded and got it meddled up. (A strong case for memorizing God’s Word!) Then, with freedom to eat anything else, she ate the one off limits. They ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Their eyes were opened and they could see their nakedness. The man and woman hid in shame, sewing make-shift loincloths with leaves to cover themselves.
The Father enters the scene. He comes with questions, offering them the opportunity to confess. Where are you? Who told you that you were naked?
After a bit of blame-shifting, the truth comes out. What then?
God cursed the snake and the ground. God gave consequences to his children. Interesting that after Adam receives his consequence, he names his wife Eve, “because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). Sounds like some redemption to me.
Immediately after, in striking contrast, we see the first death in scripture:
“The Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).
The first sacrifice. The first proper set of clothes.
The God who put exquisite detail into every drop of creation, fashioned every fern and feline; the God who had just taken a quiet seventh day to kick back, take it all in, and enjoy this beautiful masterpiece; the God who lovingly provided every tiny need for each creature in extravagant harmony; that same God, now with His own hands, had to kill the first animal. He had to take the first unblemished life of his very own creation.
Why this tragic scene? All to cover the shame of his children.
That had to be such a painful moment for the Life-Giver, the Creator, to have to take the life of that animal so shortly after its creation. But it was only a foreshadow of the pain the Father would go through when He had to give up His very own Son.
I think I would have wanted to make Adam and Eve do it themselves. You disobeyed, so you do it. You kill that animal and fend for yourselves. But God is so unlike me. He is so compassionate, so gracious. He did it for them, to clothe them.
What a sobering moment that must have been for Adam and Eve as they watched and slowly realized that their disobedience had consequences of death.
The first shedding of blood on earth cannot be separated from the first set of clothes on earth. And it all points to the blood of the perfect Lamb, His very own Son, which is required to clothe the nakedness of His children.
“Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22).
So every time you button your jeans, or pull that hoodie over your head, let it be an opportunity to remember the first set of clothes and the first sacrifice. But more, let it be a reminder of the final Sacrifice, when all sin was covered. Let it be a reminder of God the Father and his tender provision of His own Son and the power of the blood of Jesus, our garment of righteousness.
Who knew your jeans had so much to tell you!?!
Lord, you are so merciful and self-sacrificing. More than we comprehend. You are so good to us. We praise you for your forgiveness, for Christ’s blood, for robes of righteousness. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you.