3) Remedy for the Condition
In order to understand the remedy, we must revisit the Garden of Eden after the rebellion of Adam and Eve. If you remember, both realized they were naked and hid from God. They attempted to cover their nakedness by sewing fig leaves together (Genesis 3:7).
God, however, made garments of skin to clothe Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). If you have read this before, you may not have paid much attention to it. But, herein is described the first Biblical evidence of the assurance of Heaven.
Let me explain. Adam and Eve attempted to cover their nakedness (sin) by making clothing out of fig leaves. Their work was inadequate to say the least. Fig leaves would not last against time, decay and normal weather conditions. God, however, made a very adequate covering for their nakedness.
Pay attention here. In order for God to make clothes of skin, there would have to be a death. The death would require the shedding of blood. The only other skin creatures in the Garden were animals. It’s a safe assumption that one or more animals had to die in order to cover the sins of Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve sinned, but an innocent animal bore the punishment and had to die. Are you getting the picture? The blood of an innocent animal was shed for the sin of Adam and Eve. In doing this, God was making it clear that He would only accept a blood sacrifice as payment for sin (the remedy). “…and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22)
However, it must be the blood of an innocent one. Since all humans are under the condemnation of sin, none would qualify as innocent and therefore, no man could pay for his sins or the sins of anyone else.
It is essential that you grasp this doctrinal episode in Genesis. If you’re still skeptical, let’s take a look at Chapter 4 of Genesis. Here we read the well-known account of Cain and Abel, the first two children born to Adam and Eve. The scene takes place after banishment from the Garden.
We read in verses 3 and 4 that Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to God. Cain, a farmer, brought fruit of the ground as his sacrifice. Abel, a keeper of flocks, brought the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof. As the fat is mentioned apart from the animal, it’s logical to conclude that the animal(s) was dead.
We learn that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but rejected Cain’s. If Cain and Abel knew to bring God a sacrifice (probably from their parents), then they would have also known the appropriate sacrifice to bring to God. Cain brought that which was the work of his hands, much the same as his parents did when they tried to cover themselves in the Garden. Abel brought the sacrifice of a slain, innocent lamb (firstling from his flock).
Let me point out the obvious, we do not know the moral character of Cain nor Abel. For all we know, Cain may have been a better man morally. Certainly, his sacrifice required a lot more effort than Abel’s. So Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted because God viewed Abel as a “good” man and Cain as a “bad” man. Acceptance of the sacrifices had nothing to do with their character. This is proven by the fact that God encouraged Cain to bring the appropriate sacrifice after he failed the first time (verse 7). Sadly, Cain disregarded God’s offer and instead, murdered his brother Abel.
For the sake of brevity, I am not going to provide other examples about the sacrificial blood sacrifice of an innocent substitute. However, one only has to review the history of the Jewish sacrificial system for further evidence.
By now it should be clear to you that the only acceptable way (remedy) to approach God regarding sin is with the blood sacrifice of an innocent substitute. Scripture tells us that God did not enjoy the death of animals as a sacrifice (Isaiah 1:11). Further, the blood sacrifice of animals only covered the sin of man; it did not remove the sin (Hebrews 10:4). Animal sacrifice is no longer required by God.
The animal sacrifices were only a picture of something more permanent and lasting, which was to come – a Redeemer. This was prophesied all throughout the Old Testament beginning in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”
In John 1:29, we read this unusual introduction of Jesus by John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” For those of you familiar with this verse, does it not seem odd for John to make such an introduction.
Is this beginning to make sense yet? Here we have One, who takes away the sin of the world. The Gospel of John makes it abundantly clear that Jesus is God in the flesh. Scripture also tells us that Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15) and therefore, innocent. In 1Peter 2:24 we read, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” This, then, would make Jesus our substitute.
So, here we have Jesus shedding His blood as the innocent substitute (remedy) in fulfillment of the animal types throughout the Old Testament. In addition, He bears the title of Lamb of God. This is precisely why there is no longer a requirement for the sacrifice of animals. Here too is the remedy for our condition before God.
“And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood.” (Revelation 1:5)
The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ must be applied to you in order to qualify you to go to Heaven.
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