The Cross Disarms the Cherubim

I was excited about others learning a lot in the Gospel Project.  I was thrilled when I saw how much my children were learning.  Have I mentioned how much this material is pushing and teaching me?

Here are some of what I have been learning this last week as we studied “Human Rebellion” in Genesis 3:

  1. Satan’s strategy hasn’t changed since the beginning – he wants us to doubt God’s Word.
  2. Sin magnifies the prohibition and ignores the freedom.
  3. Evil never simply presents itself as evil.
  4. Doubting God’s Word will ultimately lead to denying God’s Word.
  5. Sin sells the lie that “you are missing out.”
  6. When Adam and Eve hear the sound of the LORD God walking, they hide.  It is the same sound from the same person that they have welcomed before.  This time, it is received with a totally different response due to their sin.
  7. Even when we sin, God is still the seeker (Gen. 3:8; Luke 19:10).
  8. When God called out to Adam and asked, “Where are you,” he was not trying to discover information but to offer an invitation – “come out of hiding!”
  9. Sin causes us to hide from God and blame God, and it causes us to hide from others and blame others.
  10. Covering up tries to repair reputation and dignity.  We are no longer honest.  Can we be fully loved if we are fully known?
  11. Sin causes us to shift our perspective and our behavior.  Those we once blessed (Gen. 2:23), in sin, we blame (Gen. 3:12).
  12. What Satan started in the Garden, Jesus will finish at his return.  The seed of the woman is promised (Gen. 3:15) and he will come and make all things right yet again.
  13. To cover up their guilt, something had to die (Gen. 3:21).  Their own efforts would not suffice (Gen. 3:7).
  14. The Bible exposes the ugliness of sin in order to magnify the beauty of salvation.
  15. Man will not be able to return to paradise by his own efforts (Gen. 3:24).

The Day the Cherubim Lowered His Sword

Let me unpack the last one a little more.

The cross is the only thing powerful enough to disarm the Garden’s cherubim protector (Gen. 3:24).

Genesis 3:24 says: “He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.”

If God drove Adam out and placed an angelic figure with a flaming sword able to fend off intruders in any direction, let me assure you this – nobody is getting in unless God wants them to get in.

Read this commentary help from Derek Kidner, provided through The Gospel Project:

“Every detail of [verse 24], with its flame and sword and the turning every way, actively excludes the sinner.  His way back is more than hard, it is resisted: he cannot save himself.

The cherubim, God’s multiform and awesome thronebearers in Ezekiel’s visions (cf. Ezek. 1:5 with Ezek. 10:15), are seen elsewhere as symbolic guardians of the holy of holies, their forms embroidered on the veil that barred access to it, and modeled above the ark (Ex. 36:35; Ex. 37:7-9).

At the death of Christ this veil was rent in two (Matt. 27:51) and the way to God thrown open (Heb. 10:19-22) in fact as well as symbol.”

Did you catch that?  The cherubim guards entrance back into Eden (aka the presence of God).


Mentioned throughout the Old Testament, the cherubim accompany the glory of God on his throne (where he dwells).


Handcrafted replicas of cherubim sit on the mercy seat on the Ark of Covenant where sacrifices were to be made.


That ark is placed in the temple.  The veil in the temple (the huge curtain that separated people from the presence of God) had cherubim stitched into the fabric.


At the moment when Jesus died and covered up our sin and shame with the death of this blameless one, that fabric ripped in two.  The chasm between God and Man had been crossed.  The flaming sword was laid down and Mankind was finally able to reconcile completely with God.


Cherubim is now relieved of his duties.  We can come home.

Hallelujah, what a Savior!