Shadows of Redemption

cross-shadowGod’s story begins with the creation of all things.  God completes His work in six days found in chapter 1 of Genesis and chapter 2 is marked by God resting from His work and finally creating woman as a helper suitable for the man.  All is well.

If you’re familiar with the story, you know how quickly this changes because the next chapter brings “the serpent” and his temptation into the story.  Satan came to wreck the beautiful creation God had made, and he succeeded.  As a result, God’s perfect fellowship with His creation was lost, and His perfect rescue plan was put in motion. It is in these first chapters of God’s Word that we get our first shadow of redemption.

Even as God declared the curse brought on by sin (Genesis 3), He gives the first prophecy of a redeemer that would one day come and crush our enemy who brought the curse and brokenness of sin.  Genesis 3:15 promised enmity between the serpent and the seed of the woman.  This “seed” would one day be revealed as Jesus Christ who would come and destroy the sinful work of Satan by sacrificially dying and atoning substitutionary death on a cruel cross.  The fulfillment of this prophecy would take thousands of years to come, but it would indeed come.

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. – Genesis 3:15 (NASB)

If you just read Genesis 3:15, it can be hard to understand how Jesus would bring redemption.  The greater picture comes in Genesis 3:21…

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. – Genesis 3:21 (NASB)

Where did these skins come from?  To this point, no death had existed in creation.  Man and beast ate the plants and fruits of creation.  (See Genesis 1:29-30).  There was no killing to eat.  This would soon change, but the first death recorded in God’s story is that of the animal whose skins were used to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve.  Their nakedness, that was only recognized because of their sin, was covered as God sacrificed the animal that provided the skins.

And here we clearly see the shadow of coming redemption.  We see the foretelling of Jesus.  It wouldn’t be His skin that would cover us, but His shed blood and his substitutionary atoning death that would cover our nakedness, sin and shame.

Praise God we no longer have to look forward to the day our redemption will come, but we have the joy of reading God’s Word and knowing that it has come!  This is the good news of the Gospel.  The Gospel that can be seen through the shadows of redemption seen in the first three books of the Bible.

As you begin your journey of reading God’s Word this year, always be on the lookout for the shadows of redemption that point us to Jesus, even in the Old Testament stories.

Rest in Jesus,