In these opening advent days, we observed our cultural holiday preparations. Now we’ll turn to the biblical narrative to consider what God has prepared. Because to see the provisions of God—His goodness, glory, and grace—will add a robust Hallalujah! to our celebration of His Son.
We’ll begin at the beginning, in Genesis. We’ll tour the magnificent doings of God down through history, of those things He prepared for the first advent-coming of His Messiah.
And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:8-9 ESV).
The Garden God created and prepared as a dwelling place for His image-bearers was nothing short of perfection. More than the tree of life, His presence was there.
No sin was there. No ugliness, no hatred, no corruption, no brokenness . . . no illness. No shame to cover-over (Gen 2:25).
But then Genesis 3:1 happened!
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say….’ (Gen 3:1a ESV).
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate (Gen 3:6a ESV).
The one command of God? Broken. Right along with the Father’s heart. Not to mention the breach in their relationship.
And the need for their covering was born. The covering of their nakedness, their sin, their shame.
They tried to fashion a self-made garment of fig leaves (Gen 3:7), but to no avail. And the human drive for autonomous works was born.
But no covering made by human hands would suffice. Covering up was not possible. Nor could they hide from God, try as they might.
God pronounced judgment upon the three for their disobedience (Gen 3:14-19). Then He did the unexpected.
And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them (Gen 3:21 ESV).
God’s provision was divinely (and personally) prepared. He clothed them in garments of His own making.
But death had entered God’s created order. The sacrificial death of that animal was required. By the blood of a sacrifice, the act of their rebellion was covered.
It was Jehovah-God Who covered them with garments of His grace.
Mercifully, He covered their nakedness and shame.
By grace, He provided the covering for their sin. Because He alone can provide atonement for sin.
This one act—in the beginning—foreshadowed the lasting remedy God would ultimately provide in the Christ. Through the shedding of His sacrificial blood is atonement made for the sins of the fallen human race.
God prepared and provided garments for Adam and Eve—coverings for both the physical and spiritual need born of their sin. But a far greater covering-of-perfection was coming.
And Christ Jesus, Whom we celebrate and serve, has covered you in garments of salvation (Is 61:10) . . . and love everlasting.