Genesis 3:24 “After He drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Observation: Everyone in the story sinned: Adam, Eve and the serpent. Each came under God’s judgment. History’s first death is recorded three verses earlier when God Himself killed some of His beautiful creatures to make skins for Adam and Eve to wear, then He had banished them from the garden.

Application: Think of God’s anguish as His own hands became spattered with blood by the butchery required by man’s sin. Surely Adam more fully realized what His sin cost God as he watched God lure one of the trusting creatures He had so recently made, in order to kill it. How much of the butchery did Adam see? Likely every bit of it, just as the second Adam centuries later would Himself be publicly butchered for my benefit. I have no doubt that God required Adam to watch the whole gory process; surely it was important that Adam fully understand what his sin had cost God.

God’s judgment wasn’t merely that Adam would forevermore have to earn his living by the sweat of his brow. The more profound judgment was for the man whom God loved, the one made in His image, to have permanently imprinted in his mind the picture of God’s anguish as death came to earth by God’s own initiative. Man’s shame over nakedness would be as nothing compared to his horrible remembrance of the heartache and loss God experienced on his behalf.

God then drove man from His presence and posted a guard so man couldn’t access the Tree of Life and live forever in such a morass of sin. It was God’s love that led to Adam’s banishment.

Later, God Himself would become the sacrifice; He would assume man’s nakedness and would again become bloodied, except this time the blood would be His own. And once again, He did it in a way all would see. He wanted my mind, my heart to be imprinted with remembrance of the butchery my sin cost Him. Jesus confirmed this when He said, “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life…” (Jn 6:40) In “looking to the Son”, Christ would have me first remember how broken He was for my transgressions, how savagely He was killed on my behalf. Oh, how He loves me!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You have sacrificed innocence twice because of Your love for me, each time in a garden. You designed Eden and Gethsemane as places of intimacy, but I was thrown out of one and invited into the other, both by blood you shed on my behalf. I am utterly undone by Your love for me.