For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough


In Gen 3:21 we read, “For Adam also and for his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”

Many have supposed that God miraculously produced two skins, and in making that unwarranted assumption, have robbed this verse of its proper import.  The consistent teaching of Scripture is that, “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb 9:22), and Adam’s sin was no exception to this principle.  There could be no remission of his sin until atoning blood had been shed.

Throughout the OT age atonement was made when the sinner brought the offering prescribed by God (usually a lamb or kid), placed his hand upon its head, thereby identifying himself with it, symbolically transferring his sin to it, confessed his sin, and slew the animal, offering to God that innocent substitute which died the death the man should have died.

By this ritual the offerer was confessing that in sinning he had forfeited his life, but in bringing the substitute ordained by God, he was confessing that he believed God would accept the life of that animal in lieu of his.  The ritual of course, points to Calvary where the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Lamb, died as the sinner’s Substitute.  That death is effective to atone for my sin, however, only when I do what is symbolized in the offerer’s laying his hand on the lamb’s head: I must identify myself personally with that Substitute by believing that He died for me on account of my sin that had rendered my life forfeit.

It is improper exegesis that sees the remission of Adam’s sin by any other means than the death of an innocent substitute.  The plain teaching of Scripture makes clear what happened when Adam and Eve were clothed, each one with a skin.  To make possible God’s remission of their sin, each one had to bring a lamb to die as the divinely appointed substitute.  As they looked on those two slain lambs, Adam and Eve learned several lessons.  First, sin brings death.  Second, a gracious God was willing to accept the life of an innocent substitute to make atonement (cover) for that sin.  What they may not have seen as clearly as we do today, in the light of Calvary, was that each of those two lambs was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, designated by John as, “The Lamb of God Who beareth away the sin of the world.”



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough