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CHRIST IN THE GARDEN AND OUTSIDE THE GATE

(SERMON #35 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, December 15, 2007

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).

“And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering” (Genesis 4:4).


It is impossible to read these verses without realizing that blood had to be spilt for God to be worshipped correctly after the Fall of man. It is also impossible, I think, to look at the sacrifice of an animal to clothe our first parents, and the sacrifice of a lamb by Abel in his worship of God, without realizing that the blood shed in both instances is typical of the blood that would be shed by our Lord Jesus Christ in fulfillment of the prophecy in Genesis 3:15, “It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Both the blood shed to make coats for Adam and Eve, and the blood shed by Abel, must therefore point to the work of Christ. The blood shed to produce the coats and the blood shed by Abel typify different aspects of Christ’s agony. Few would disagree with that position. But I want us to focus on the antitypes of both these blood-sheddings. Perhaps you will think I have gone too far, but it does seem to me that the two events speak typically of the two blood-sheddings of our Lord. Let us contrast the two types and their two antitypes in the New Testament.

I. First, the blood God shed to make the coats
was in the Garden of Eden.

It should be noticed that when God made our first parents “coats of skin,” blood was shed in the Garden – because they were not driven from the Garden until after the blood was shed in making them those coats of skin. That is the type, in my judgment.

Where is the antitype, the fulfillment of the type, in the New Testament? It seems obvious to me that the fulfillment of the type was in another Garden – the Garden of Gethsemane. C. H. Spurgeon said,

May we not conceive that as in a garden, Adam’s self indulgence ruined us, so in another garden the agonies of the [last] Adam should restore us[?]. Gethsemane supplies the medicine for the ills which followed upon the forbidden fruit of Eden (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Agony in Gethsemane,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1971 reprint, volume XX, p. 589).

Thus, I believe that the blood shed in making coats for our first parents in the Garden of Eden typifies the blood shed by Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. And that the Blood shed in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before our Lord was crucified, is the antitype, or fulfillment, of the blood shed in the Garden of Eden.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam sinned and brought ruin to mankind. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ took upon Himself the sin of mankind, and began to shed His Blood, to restore our fallen race.

After eating the Passover meal with His Disciples, Jesus went out with them to the Garden of Gethsemane. Why did Christ choose the Garden of Gethsemane to begin His agony? Was it not because Adam’s sin ruined man in another Garden? Why did Christ shed a bloody sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane? Was it not a fulfillment of the first blood that was shed, so that Adam and Eve could be clothed in that first Garden in Eden?

In the Garden of Gethsemane,

“Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground”
      (Luke 22:44).

What caused His agony in the Garden? I believe it was there that God put him to grief for us. It was something inconceivably terrible – which came from God the Father upon Him. The prophetic words of Isaiah should remove all doubt concerning the cause of His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane,

“The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6),

as Christ agonizingly sweat “as it were great drops of blood” in Gethsemane.

“[God] laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6),

in that Garden. Now Christ began to bear the curse which was due to fall on sinful man. There is a mystery in that agony in the Garden of Gethsemane which our finite minds do not fully understand. As the Puritan hymn writer Joseph Hart put it,


‘Tis to God, and God alone,

That their weight is fully known.

   (“Thine Unknown Sufferings” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).


Jesus, the Lamb of God, bare the sins of mankind in His body, and the weight of those sins on His very soul.

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree”
      (I Peter 2:24).

I am convinced that our sins were placed on Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, and that He bore them to the Cross the next day. He took our sins on Himself the night before in the Garden, and bore them to the Cross the day after.

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…by whose stripes ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24).

Thus we see the type and its perfect fulfillment in Christ. The blood God shed to make our first parents coats was shed in the Garden of Eden. The Bloody sweat of Christ’s agony, the night before they crucified Him, was shed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

II. Second, the blood of Abel's sacrifice was shed outside the Garden of Eden.

It was after Adam and Eve had been driven from the Garden of Eden that their son Abel offered a bloody sacrifice to God. Abel had certainly been told by Adam that a bloody sacrifice must be made – pointing to the perfect sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Where else could Abel have learned to make such a blood sacrifice, but from his father? And so we read, in our second text, in Genesis 4:4,

“And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering” (Genesis 4:4).

We often hear that God had respect unto Abel. But the next few words are commonly passed over with little comment, “and to his offering” (Genesis 4:4). “The Lord had respect unto Abel” because of his faith. The Bible plainly says,

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” (Hebrews 11:4).

“The Lord had respect unto Abel” because of his “faith.” But there is more in Genesis 4:4. It says, “And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” God had respect toward Abel’s faith, “and to his offering.” So, God respected both (1) Abel’s faith and (2) Abel’s blood offering. The two means that brought Abel respect were inseparable: faith and blood. And this brings us to the second type and its fulfillment in Christ Jesus.

The blood sacrifice which produced Adam and Eve’s coats occurred in the Garden of Eden. Christ’s blood-letting in the Garden of Gethsemane looks to that typically, and fulfills it. 

But now, Abel’s sacrifice takes place outside the Garden of Eden, after his parents had been driven out of paradise. That is the second type. It was fulfilled by Christ shedding His Blood outside the Garden. Christ was arrested in Gethsemane and dragged out of the Garden – as Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden in their coats of skin. Christ was flogged and then taken outside the walls of Jerusalem, where He was nailed to a Cross. And it was on that Cross that sin was atoned for, which He bore from the Garden of Gethsemane. He did not die in the Garden. Oh, no! He died outside the Garden of Gethsemane, indeed He died outside the city walls of Jerusalem. The Bible says,

“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate”
    
 (Hebrews 13:12).

He suffered and died outside the gate, outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem, and outside of Gethsemane. That is the antitype. Abel offered his blood sacrifice outside the Garden of Eden; Jesus offered His Blood sacrifice outside the Garden of Gethsemane – even outside the walls of Jerusalem.

What lesson can we draw from this? I think it is safe to say that the blood-letting, when those coats of skin were made in the Garden of Eden, pictured Jesus’ suffering for our sin in the Garden of Gethsemane; and I believe Abel’s blood sacrifice outside the Garden of Eden typifies and shows forth the death of Christ on the Cross outside the Garden of Gethsemane, yea, outside the very walls of the city.

Therefore Christ has been our Saviour ever since man fell in the Garden of Eden, and He remains our sacrificial substitute even now, for us, in our fallen state. He saves us by His death and by His Blood even though, like Abel, we are poor, fallen creatures, living in banishment, outside the Garden of Eden, in this harsh, godless and sin-cursed world. And that great truth was expressed by the Apostle Paul when he said,

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”
      (I Timothy 1:15).

Are you a sinner? Then Christ came to save you! Are you lost and self-condemned and God-condemned for your sin? Then Christ came to save you! Throw yourself upon Jesus by faith and He will save your soul and cleanse your sin by His own Blood. Come to Jesus. Doubt no more. He will save you.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”
      (I Timothy 1:15).

(END OF SERMON)
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THE OUTLINE OF

CHRIST IN THE GARDEN AND OUTSIDE THE GATE

(SERMON #35 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).

“And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering” (Genesis 4:4).

(Genesis 3:15)

I.   First, the blood God shed to make the coats was in the Garden
of Eden, Genesis 3:21; Luke 22:44; Isaiah 53:6; I Peter 2:24.

II.  Second, the blood of Abel's sacrifice was shed outside the Garden 
of Eden, Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 11:4; 13:12; I Timothy 1:15.