21. The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. (NASB)
The Christmas story, at first glance anyway, can be a little deceiving. There’s comfort and joy. Peace on earth, goodwill towards men. Silent night. A little baby in swaddling clothes attended by shepherds and cattle. A new star in the heavens. All of those things are part of the story of the first Christmas. But they don’t represent the story in its totality.
When Jesus was about 41 days old and the days of Mary’s purification were completed (see Leviticus 12:1-8), Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (see Luke 2:21-35). While they were there they met a man named Simeon who told Mary that because of what Jesus was appointed to do a sword would pierce her heart.
The Christmas story is the story of a birth. But that baby, Jesus, was born with a unique purpose; to set us free from sin. And so his birth was necessary so that he could live as a man and dying as a man pay the price for our sins. We get just a foretaste of the necessity of shedding blood to cover sin shortly after that first sin by Adam and Eve in the garden. God made garments of skin to cover Adam and Eve. And to make those garments blood had to be shed. Just as Jesus had to shed his blood to cover us from sin.
Christmas, the birth of Jesus, is but the beginning of the story of our rescue.