A few weeks ago I wrote about the few things I still have from before I was married. Today, another older relic on my office bookshelf caught my eye: my penny collection.
I’m not sure when I started collecting pennies. There is a note written in the folder from January 1, 1972 indicating that I had eighty-four coins in my collection. I would have been fourteen at the time. The pennies range in date from 1916 through 1975 in this folder, and go on through 1992 in another. There is also a folder containing nickels from 1940 – 1959.
I know I never actually purchased any of these coins for the collection. I found them all in circulation and in cans of coins my parents had. I thought I had some steel cents from 1943, but I don’t seen them in the folder.
Anyway, these are by far the oldest things I still own from my childhood. I’m sure my parents got us started to keep us busy on a rainy day when we couldn’t go outside to play. This is what we did when there was no internet and only three channels on the TV. The whole collection is probably worth about $2.00 (a hundred pennies and twenty nickels!)
A quick concordance search shows the word blood appearing nearly four hundred times in scripture. Blood is part of life and death in God’s creation. It is part of God’s covenants. It is spilled, sprinkled, poured out, and consumed. It justifies, redeems, reconciles, purifies and conquers. This year’s Lenten devotions focus on the drops of blood we find on the pages of our bibles, leading us to the cross of Christ and beyond.
When “the eyes of [the man and the woman] were opened…they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths” (Genesis 3:7). “And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).
While the word blood does not appear in these verses, God is the first to take the life of some animal to use the skins to cover up the naked first couple. That’s right, God draws first blood.
Adam and his wife have listened to the serpent, have responded to their own desires and have eaten from the tree forbidden to them. Now they must try and cover up their nakedness, shame and guilt with a few leaves. Mercifully, God provides a better covering, but it will require the shedding of blood. It is the first hint of many that there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). It is the first indication that we will hear much about blood in the story of God’s people about to unfold in the ages to come.
Why do we wear clothes? Sometimes for protection from the elements. To stay warm or cool. They may be a uniform that identifies our profession or company. We may wear them because we like to look good and impress others. Or to fit in with the people around us.
Whatever the reason, clothes serve as a reminder of our sin and shame and also our Savior. As hard as we try, we can’t cover up all our faults. But our Savior’s love, sacrifice and blood can. “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1).
Gracious Lord, thank your for covering my sin with the holy precious blood of Christ. Amen.