Atonement after The Fall. Studying Genesis 3:21-24

The first sacrifice 

After the fall of Adam and Eve, God had made them new garments from animal skins. 

Genesis 3:21: 

​​21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. 

These are both an act of God’s grace and also a reminder of man’s guilt. Our innocence has been lost because of the fall. 

This is the Bible’s first sacrifice as God covers Adam and Eve in animal skins. Sacrifices in the Bible point to the final and ultimate sacrifice when Jesus gave his life, and gave up his flesh so that all who believe in him could be forgiven. 

Exiled from Eden

In one final act of divine judgment, Adam and Eve are cast out of Eden because of their sin. 

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. 

This penalty is not arbitrary nor is it unfair. 

The passage has God saying that man has become like one of us


There’s another hint to the Trinity in this verse. 

Man was told that he’d be like God if he ate of the fruit of the tree. Here God says that man has become like one of us. 

Who is us? 

Some might take it similarly to Genesis 1 and suggest God is referring to himself in the plural. This overlooks the theology which develops in the Bible. Man has made himself like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

And while Adam is now like them, in a sense, he will not be with them as he is removed from Eden. 

Eden is the place where the tree of life is. God promised death for eating of the forbidden fruit. And so many  must be expelled from the place where there is the tree of life and be placed outside the garden. 

Returning to Eden

The rest of the Bible is the story of man getting back to Eden. 

In the Bible’s closing chapter, an Edenic heaven is depicted in the new heaven, the new earth and the new Jerusalem. In both places, there is the presence of God where there is flowing water, the tree of life, angelic guards, that faces to the east. 

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