Last time we looked at the biological purpose of death and its absolute necessity in an environment with finite resources.
A couple of posts before that we looked at the forbidden fruit as a means to introduce mortality by means of excising a choice.
By exercising a choice, the outcome would be brought about by an act of will as opposed to by force.
(agency vs force will be delved into a lot deeper in future installments)
By exercising free will and partaking of the forbidden fruit, mortality or death was instituted on the basis of justice; it being a direct result of ingesting a substance, that would bring about the desired physical changes and result in growth, aging and eventual death.
Justice was satisfied by the fall, but what of love and mercy? How could God claim to be just but also loving and merciful?
Would it be loving and merciful to leave a fallen creature in its fallen state, without providing any means for redemption?
Redemption from the fall would necessitate the payment of a "blood price" or ransom in order to satisfy the demands of justice; otherwise justice would be denied. The extension of mercy would only be possible through the intervention of a third party to pay justice on behalf of the fallen.
Only then could demands of Justice and Mercy be fully satisfied.
We saw that prefigured through the issuing of a coat made of animal skin to cover them.
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
A metaphor for how the shedding of the blood of an animal, would provide covering and protection, not only from the physical elements, but also from the vulnerability, nakedness and guilt they felt as a consequence of disobedience.
A prefigure of the blood that would be spilled to cover all sin and that self sewn fig leaf aprons, would not cover.
In the same context we find a similar prefiguring:
Genesis 3:14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
There would be enmity between the serpent and the seed of the woman, which would involve bruising of heels and crushing (more explicit in the Hebrew)of heads.
This imagery was not lost on later biblical prophets:
Isaiah spoke of a coming messiah that would be "bruised".
Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
The entire chapter is a beautiful poetic prefiguring of the Savior and Redeemer
Paul would later say; to the indicating of exactly who the serpent in the garden account represents:
Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Next time we will delve into just how "redemption from death" could be brought about by the Son of God