Christmas in Eden

CHRISTMAS IN EDEN

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This is the first promise given after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. It is also the first gospel sermon ever preached on the face of the earth. Theologians call it the protoevangelium–or first gospel. These words spoken by God contain the first promise of redemption in the Bible. Everything else in the Bible flows from these words in Genesis 3:15. As the acorn contains the mighty oak, so these words contain the entire plan of salvation. Although you may not see it at first glance, Christ is in this verse. He is the ultimate Seed of the Woman who would one day come to crush the serpent’s ugly head. In the process his “heel” would be bruised on the cross. In short, this verse predicts that Jesus would win the victory over Satan but would himself be wounded at the same time. As the centuries rolled on, Satan kept winning victories and God kept raising up men and women who would continue the godly line on the earth. I like to think of this verse as the top of a wide funnel. When the promise was given, no one could have imagined the coming Jesus Christ. The “seed of the woman” simply meant that he must be a member of the human race. But after the flood the line was narrowed to Noah’s descendants, then later to Shem’s descendants, and later came to rest on one man–Abraham, the father of the nation Israel. Then to his son Isaac, to Isaac’s son Jacob, to Jacob’s son Joseph, and then to Joseph’s son Judah. Centuries later the line was narrowed to the house of David. Finally some nine centuries after that, the line came to rest on the firstborn son of a virgin named Mary. What started with the whole human race has narrowed to just one man–Jesus Christ. He didn’t come in the usual way; he came by means of a virgin birth. No one before or since ever entered the world as he did. Thus he is the ultimate “seed of the woman” since no man was involved in his conception. When God wanted to save the world, he didn’t send a committee; he sent his Son. When God wanted to say, “I love you,” he wrapped his love note in swaddling clothes. When God wanted to crush Satan, he started in a stable in Bethlehem. Even in Eden, God was planning for Christmas. He was thinking of you before you were born because he knew that one day you would need a Savior. That’s why we celebrate the birth of Christ. Joy to the world, the Lord is come.

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