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Fig Leaf Aprons or Coats of Skins?

And the eyes of them both were opened,

and they knew that they were naked;

and they sewed fig leaves together,

and made themselves aprons.

(Genesis 3:7)

Unto Adam also and to his wife

did the LORD God make coats of skins,

and clothed them.

(Genesis 3:21)

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they tried to cover their nakedness by sewing fig leaves together. God replaced the fig leaves with coats of skins. In the Bible, nakedness often represents sin. We see examples of this in Exodus 32:25, Lamentations 4:21, Ezekiel 23:29, Nahum 3:5, Revelation 3:17-18, and Revelation 16:15.

Within the two verses in Genesis at the top of this page we see the contrast between man's way and God's way of dealing with sin. The fig leaves made an apron (which would have only partially and temporarily hidden their nakedness). This was the best that man could do under the circumstances but it was unacceptable to God. Therefore God made them coats of skins that covered them and would have lasted for a lifetime. Man's religion is like the fig leaf apron: it is inadequate to deal with our sin. God's way of salvation is like a coat of skin: it required a blood sacrifice, it is acceptable to God, and it lasts.

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

(Hebrews 9:22)

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

(I Peter 1:18-19)

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

(Colossians 2:8)

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