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Adam & Eve First Blood     From Nothing but the Blood Audio
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. —Genesis 3

We’ve talked about the fall here some (click here to see some of the context and blessing of it), but this is new. We’re in the fourth part of a series answering the question:

Why did God choose blood as the currency to redeem mankind?

We’ve created a context (Billy Graham at Great St. Mary’s), seen the role of non-negotiables in relationship and established that blood is different than any other substance. But now, we’re going to examine specific examples of blood sacrifice (from just after the beginning) as clues to what God is telling us about Himself.

This may seem odd, but I’d submit that nothing in Scripture. . .

. . . is there by chance. We’ve had a good argument on this over the last few weeks, but if you’ll walk with me for a few more weeks, my prayer is that you’ll begin to see things written thousands of years ago were left there for you, today.

The first blood in the Bible comes just after that Fall. It’s an easy one to miss, but God, in Eden, after admonishing the serpent, Eve and then Adam, God slays an animal (or two) and gives Adam and Eve the skin for clothing. Adam and Eve already had clothing because we know they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

If this was the only mention of animal sacrifice or blood in the Bible, it might just be a coincidence or an inconvenient truth. I can’t imagine what Adam and Eve must have thought.

It is very possible that this is the first time Adam and Eve had ever seen a kill. I don’t know this, but if Eden was heaven as we’ve proposed (the physical presence of God), then look to other Scripture when visions of heaven are evoked:

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.
Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.

Isaiah 11

I wish that I had time to study this more, but on its face, we see a picture of nature (where today violence is normative) at peace and Jesus, not sitting at the hand of God, but standing—as He did at the stoning of Stephen—making a claim on us.

Even if Adam and Eve had seen violence in nature before (which I doubt), this kill, in the midst of their own shame, must have seemed shocking/atrocious/inhumane.

We know, because we’ve read farther into the story, that this incident was the beginning of hundreds of thousands more. The blood of bulls and goats will flow for thousands of years to come, until One sheds His own blood.

I’m drawn to talk about this because this was the beginning of the end. And those standing at the beginning, don’t have the luxury of context. I’ll bet that Adam and Eve thought they knew all the facts: garden, Creation, serpent, fruit, blood. But standing inside time, we can’t really know the full context, can we? We can’t know God’s plan in tragedy or understand where the real danger lies. Adam and Eve thought danger was outside Eden, into the “punishment” that God drove them, but God knew differently. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (v. 22)

With their new found disobedience, with my own disobedience, what kind of monster would I be if allowed to grow it for a few thousand years? I don’t purport to have the answer, but my answer is that I can’t know why _______ on this side of heaven. But I have found no better wisdom to trust—not mine, not the world’s, not any other man’s—than God.

Just after the fall, in a brutal and strange and totally out of context way, God indicated to Adam and Eve that there was a way back. They didn’t likely understand it. I’m not sure I understand it today having seen a few thousand more years of the film. But God’s perfect plan was to bring us back into Eden in a way that kept God Holy, let us know He loved us, and fixed me/you/us in all the broken places. It was a narrow way, but God saw a way.

I love you.

This is the fourth part in a multi-part post expanding on an exceptional talk Billy Graham gave at the University of Cambridge in 1955 with influences from Tim Keller's sermon series Christ: Our Treasury (The Book of Hebrews). To hear an overview of this material, consider listening to the original Nothing but the Blood audio, linked here (it'll stream from a mobile device), read all the posts to date by clicking #nothingbuttheblood, or hear the most recent version of the Nothing but the Blood talk by streaming it on the player, below. If you'd like to get these posts sent to you via email (and you're not already), click here to register and make sure to tell us that you're a Back Porch Friend.

The next in this series, Part 5 - Cain't Like That is available by clicking here.

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