When Adam and Eve came before God naked and ashamed of their sin, He provided garments for them. Today, R.C. Sproul explains how Jesus takes away our guilt and shame by clothing us in His perfect righteousness.
There is only one way to get back into the situation of being naked and unashamed, and that’s to have an adequate cover. The first concrete act of redemption that takes place in all of Scripture: “And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). That’s the kind of God that we have here.
He had every right to annihilate them. He had every right to say: “Okay, you’re naked and unashamed? Well, the bed you make is the bed you sleep in. You may wander the face of the earth with the mark of Cain, and I will consign you to the everlastingly painful experience of the combination of nakedness and shame.” He could have come and stripped Adam and Eve of their loincloth and sent them away naked. Instead, He improved upon their self-made covering. He did take away the loincloth, but He covered them with clothes that He made Himself.
How many times does the New Testament speak of the work of Christ in terms of providing a covering? How many times does the Scripture speak of the work of Christ in clothing us in His righteousness? The Scriptures say that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). In other words, when we attempt to justify ourselves to make ourselves comfortable in the presence of God, to provide for ourselves our own handmade coverings, they are as filth, rags. But the covering that God provides takes away the guilt, takes away the shame, takes away the fear of the presence of God, puts an end to our vocation as fugitives, and we can once again come into the presence of God, naked and unashamed.