Blood, Sweat, and Tears
The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. – Genesis 3:20-21
“You should have been at that concert. It was awesome. The sound was amazing. Their sound board was four feet long!” My buddy was talking about his experience at a Blood, Sweat, and Tears concert way back in my college days. Sir Winston Churchill is said to have coined the term in his famous “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat” speech in 1940, when he warned the British people of the hardships to come in fighting WWII.
But the concept of blood, sweat and tears does not originate with Churchill. It dates back to the dawn of time when God spoke to Adam and Eve about the consequences of their sin. There would be tears. The woman would bear children in painful childbirth. There will be sweat. The man will eat bread by the sweat of his brow. But where is the blood?
The biblical concept of blood is rich in meaning. “There is life in the blood,” says God (Leviticus 17:11). Only by the shedding of blood is there forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). Even here, as God banishes Adam and Eve from the garden there is blood. For God will clothe Adam and Eve in garments of skin. This is far better than fig leaves. And it required a sacrifice. It required the shedding of blood.
Some have been repulsed by the graphic nature of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. It is a gory and graphic film that portrays the brutal treatment of Jesus head on. Some have called it anti-semitic. Some have gone so far as to say that Jesus’ most important work was not to suffer and die, but to teach love, peace, and mercy.
In truth, however, in the death of Jesus we have a perfect picture of love, peace, grace, and mercy – against the backdrop of justice, righteousness, holiness, and judgment. If Genesis 3 teaches us anything, it teaches us that there are grave consequences to sin. Sin kills. In this case, sin will necessitate the first recorded sacrifice.
But this won’t be the last sacrifice. Nor the best. All this points to Jesus, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. How did he do this? By shedding his blood. And at the End of All Things, the Lamb Who Was Slain will begin his reign over all. Every knee will bow to him who offered himself as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. And we will join Adam and Eve and all who receive the gift of salvation in eternal praise of him who calls us into account, and clothes us with the righteousness of Christ.
He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. We will toil no more. And we will have washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (cf. Revelation 7:14).
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. – Genesis 3:16-21