More than Clothes

Clothes do not just cover our nakedness. Clothes remind us of Christ.

And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. — Genesis 3:21, ESV.

After Adam and Eve sinned, God designed the first clothes in human history and clothed the fallen couple. To many, this simple act of clothing seems to serve the purpose of clothing the couple in their state of nakedness [1]. However, the story goes much deeper than this. The act of God clothing the fallen couple encompasses a much deeper meaning that spans the entire gospel.

The First Sacrifice.

Many said that God’s act of clothing Adam and Eve was God’s demonstration to the couple about the need for sacrifices in a fallen world. Blood must be shed to atone for the sins they’ve committed. Blood must be shed to cover bodily nakedness that sin exposes. Blood must be shared for the body to be Holy once more. It’s assumed that God must have taught the first earthly family the importance of sacrifices when He slaughtered the first animal sacrifice so as to make the clothing that Adam and Eve put on. I believe that was also how Cain and Abel later picked up the practice of sacrificing as well [2].

Blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat

But, truth be told, the clothing of animal skin that Adam and Eve donned was not merely a sacrifice. The blood shed by the animal symbolizes the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat [3].

The Lord, who seats on the mercy seat, judges His people when He looks down on the tablet on which He’s handwritten the commandments on [4]. When the people who aren’t as Holy as God meet Him face to face, they must die. But when blood was shed on the mercy seat, covering the commandments, our sins are atoned for. God did not kill Adam and Eve as He said He would [5]. Though they were spiritually dead after the fall, God, in His mercy, atoned for their sins. Blood was shed and placed on them in the form of the skin, atoning for their wrongdoings. God no longer looked at Adam and Eve for their sins. Rather, God now looks at the blood that was shed for their sins.

Jesus, our Spiritual Clothing

When Jesus died for our sins, His blood was shed for this very purpose. His blood stands in the way between God and our physical and spiritual nakedness [6]. God no longer sees our sin. God sees Christ and His blood of atonement that was sprinkled all over our bodies for our sins.

Jesus is our Spiritual Clothing. He covers not just our physical inability caused by sin, He covers our Spiritual blind spots too. That was why Paul urged us to put on Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh and its desires [7].

In a way, our clothing represents Christ and the spiritual covering that God has designed between our sinful nature and Him. That is why we should never take our dressing lightly. Rather, we should always dress appropriately so that our outward appearance is an appropriate representation of the gospel we preach [8].

New Clothes, New Self, New Life

The things we put on are more than mere clothing. We are called to put on a new self. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. And being a new creation in Christ, we ought to live life differently than how we used to.

Different, not by choice, but by nature. The new self that was given to us by Christ enables us to live a new life in Christ. This new life is created in the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness [9].

So, the next time you think about what to wear, remember that Christ was led to the slaughter for us so that we may put Him on. Therefore, let us lead a life that is worthy of Him, giving glory to Christ in all that we do.

To God be all the glory.

Footnotes:

[1] – And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” — Genesis 3:10, ESV.

[2] – In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, — Genesis 4:3-4, ESV.

[3] – And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat on the east side, and in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it over the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. Thus he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel and because of their transgressions, all their sins. And so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which dwells with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. — Leviticus 16:14-16, ESV.

[4] – There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. — Exodus 25:22, ESV.

[5] – “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” — Genesis 2:17, ESV.

[6] – and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. — Hebrews 12:24, ESV.

[7] – But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. — Romans 13:14, ESV.

[8] – I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. — 1 Timothy 2:8-10, ESV.

[9] – and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. — Ephesians 4:24, ESV.

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