Jesus the Victor

Genesis 3:15

December 5, 2015 | Brian Bill

After the murder of 14 people in California this week, the New York Daily News ran a bold four word headline across the entire front page: “GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS.”

In the midst of our cultural conversation about crime and catastrophes, if I could reveal to you the one thing that is behind all the mass shootings, like the ones in Colorado Springs and San Bernardino this week, would you want to know? 

Have you ever wondered where terrorism comes from and why ISIS is so evil?  Does it baffle you that the culture in which we live has legalized the taking of human life in the womb?  Would you be interested in hearing an explanation for every atrocity ever committed in the history of the human race?

The answer is found in a book, in one chapter in particular.  Turn in your Bibles to Genesis 3.  You may wonder what all this has to do with our new Christmas series called, “Christmas B.C.”  But it actually has everything to do with it.

Did you know that if you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of Christmas in the Old Testament?  Written over a 1,000-year period, the first part of the Bible contains about 300 prophecies that were fulfilled with precision in Jesus Christ.  We don’t have time to look at each one, but we will tackle four of them this month to help us understand who Jesus is and why His coming is so important:

  • Jesus the Victor (Genesis 3:15)
  • Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • One Baby with Many Names (Isaiah 9:6-7)
  • The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14)

Most of these prophecies were written down more than 500 years before they were fulfilled.  This is no accident and is certainly not a coincidence.  In Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for Christ,” he points out the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one in one hundred million billion.

I’ve always been intrigued by what the resurrected Jesus might have said to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:27: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”  I’m sure He interpreted all four of these passages, among others.  

Setting the Scene

Let’s set the scene by putting our text in context.  The opening two chapters celebrate God as the Creator and human beings as the apex of His creativity.  Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect innocence and were placed in a perfect environment.  They had an idyllic existence with only one restriction, to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Let’s see what happens in Genesis 3.  We’ll walk through this narrative using 8 key words.

1. Satan. 

Everything is going well until Eve is tempted by the serpent, who is controlled by Satan.  The devil deceives and casts doubt into Eve’s heart, misquoting what God had said and implying that He was holding out on them.  We see this in verse 1: “Did God actually say?”  It’s telling that the serpent uses the generic name for God instead of the name used in the first part of the verse: Yahweh Elohim, which speaks of Him as the covenant creator.  In verses 4-5, the serpent boldly slams God’s character.

2. Sin. 

As Eve begins to doubt, she also fixates on that which is forbidden.  She takes her eyes off God’s generous provisions and starts to think only of what is prohibited.  We see this in verse 6: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”   Eve gives in and eats the fruit and gives some to Adam and he also eats.

3. Shame. 

Verse 7 describes the shame that immediately follows their sin: “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.  And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”  Because they are suddenly self-conscious, exposed and their conscience has been activated, they try to cover their sin and their shame.  Human beings have been trying to manage their sin and shame ever since.

4. Separation. 

Their sin and shame have now caused separation, so they try to get as far from God as they can in verse 8: “…and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”  We’re still trying to hide from God.  Adam and Eve could no longer face each other without clothing and now they dread facing God.

5. Seeking. 

I love that even though they are guilty, God comes looking for them.  He’s not out to clobber them but to offer reconciliation.  By asking Adam a question, He’s giving him the opportunity to come clean.  Look at verse 9: “Where are you?”

6. Squirm. 

In verse 10, Adam says that he hid because he was afraid.  God then asks a second question in verse 11: “Who told you that you were naked?”  Adam’s really uncomfortable now so God asks him another question: “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”  Adam blames Eve and even has the gall to blame God: “The woman [my wife] you [it’s your fault] gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree…”  Shame can cause us to cast blame.  Adam eventually stops squirming and admits at the end of verse 12: “…and I ate.”  Eve does something similar when she’s asked, only she blames the devil for deceiving her but finally also admits: “…and I ate.”

7. Sentence.

God then pronounces a sentence upon Satan in verses 14-15, upon the woman in verse 16 and upon Adam in verses 17-19.

8. Savior. 

With all that as context, let’s drill into our text from Genesis 3:15 where we will see the very first glimpse of the gospel message in God’s sentence to Satan: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Here we see God’s grace in seed form.  This is the first promise given after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.  It’s also the first gospel sermon ever preached.  Theologians call it the protoevangelium, or “first gospel.”  The English preacher Charles Simeon called this verse “the sum and summary of the whole Bible.” 

In Genesis 3:14, God passes judgment on the serpent for his part in the fall of humanity.  First, he is cursed above every other animal.  Second, the serpent will crawl on his belly forever.  Some commentators believe that before this, the serpent was standing up, maybe like the Gecko in Geico commercials.  Third, he will eat dust all the days of his life.  

God doesn’t ask him what he did or why he did it because the Lord had already judged Satan when he threw him out of heaven in Ezekiel 28:17: “Your heart was proud because of your beauty, you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.  I cast you to the ground…” 

One pastor puts it like this: “Even though verse 15 contains the first mention of the gospel, that is no ray of hope for Satan because he is forever excluded from God’s plan of salvation…In some ways, the Fall marks Satan’s finest moment…For a few short hours Satan won the great battle with God.  But his victory was short-lived.  Everything since then has been downhill for him.” 

Predictive Prophecy

Let’s look closely at what God says to the serpent in verse 15.

1. Endless Animosity. 

God speaks to Satan and says: “I will put enmity between you and the woman…” The word “enmity” means “hostility” or “animosity” and refers to “malice that leads to violent acts.”  One translation renders it this way, “I will set a feud.”  Another puts it like this, “There will be war.”  The New Living Translation says, “You and the woman will be enemies.”  Eve and Satan are now in open combat.

But there’s also a deeper meaning found in the next phrase: “…And between your offspring and her offspring.”  In the Hebrew the word is “seed,” referring to the generations yet unborn that would trace their heritage back to Eve

It’s obvious that Satan has his seed too.  It sprouted with Cain who killed Abel and continued to the wicked generation of Noah’s day, to the Pharaohs who opposed Moses and the Canaanites who mocked Joshua.  The seed of Satan hated the prophets and murdered them in cold blood. Herod, the “Butcher of Bethlehem,” then tried to kill the Christ of Christmas.  

The scribes and Pharisees opposed Him and plotted to take His life.  It’s noteworthy what Jesus said to them in Matthew 23:33: “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”  Jesus directly confronted them in John 8:44 when He said, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan even infiltrated His inner circle, filling the heart of Judas with malignant evil and put thoughts into Peter’s mind, which led Jesus to say to him, “Get behind me, Satan!”  When He was arrested, men stood in line to lie about him.  When Pilate offered to release Jesus, the bloodthirsty crowd cried out for Barabbas instead.  The sinister seed of Satan snickered when Jesus was put to death.  

The “offspring of the woman” and the “offspring of the serpent” have opposed each other continuously across the centuries and that struggle continues today. Revelation 12:7 says, “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.  And the dragon and his angels fought back.”

2. Temporary Defeat. 

Look at the end of this verse where God says to the serpent, “You shall bruise his heel.” How many of you have had heel pain?  A bruised heel is painful and slows you down but it won’t kill you.  There are at least two implications of this phrase.  

  • Satan sometimes wins the battle.  He has many tools in his arsenal and he shoots at God’s people incessantly.  Interestingly, according to the WebMD web site, the most frequent causes of heel pain do no result from a single injury, but by repetitive or excessive heel pounding.   The evil one uses repetitive and excessive blows to break us down.  Sometimes we are “bruised” by excessive discouragement, repetitive criticism, unbridled anger, or by chronic bitterness.
  • Satan bruised the heel of Jesus on the cross.  The spikes lacerated his hands and went through his heels.  No doubt Satan thought he had thrown a knockout punch.  But all he did was strike Jesus on the heel.  As painful as it was, that suffering was nothing compared to what Jesus did to Satan.

3. Eventual Victory. 

The cross was God’s deathblow against Satan.

Let’s go back one phrase: “He shall bruise your head…” The word “he” refers to a male offspring and it’s in the singular, meaning one man.  When Jesus died on the cross, he delivered a crushing and bruising blow to Satan.  The cross was God’s deathblow against Satan.  It was the payback for the Fall.  Victory belongs to the offspring of the woman.  

This is captured in a verse filled with rich theology from the carol, “Hark the Harold Angels Sing.” 

Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed,

Bruise in us the serpent’s head.

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface;

Stamp thine image in its place.

Second Adam from above,

Reinstate us in thy love.

I learned this week that snake venom is stored in glands in the skull.  Jesus stomps on Satan’s skull, reversing the curse and bringing victory.  There’s a vivid scene in the film The Passion of the Christ when Jesus is leaving the Garden of Gethsemane and a snake slithers around his feet.  Not everyone caught this but when Jesus picked up his foot and stomped on the snake, it was a direct fulfillment of Genesis 3:15.

Satan’s skull has been crushed but he is now free to roam the earth awaiting his final execution.  That explains why his destructive power is growing greater in the last days.  2 Timothy 3:1: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.”  1 Timothy 4:1: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.”

Let’s ponder the phrase, “her offspring.”  This is very interesting in Hebrew because the male is considered the one who has the seed.  Elsewhere in the Bible, descent is determined through the male.  Children are normally referred to as the “offspring” of the father but here we’re told that the woman will produce an offspring without the aid of a man.  I love how Galatians 3:16 argues on the basis of the singular use of offspring: “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ.”  

Listen carefully to this very deep truth.  When Jesus was born, He was the “offspring of the woman” because in His conception by the Holy Spirit, there was no male seed!  Galatians 4:4: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman.”  He didn’t come in the usual way; he came by means of a miraculous virgin birth.  We’ll be learning more about the implications of this at our Christmas Eve services.

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.

In the end the devil will be destroyed along with those who follow him.  1 John 3:8: “The reason the son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”


  1. The only way to understand some things that happen is by recognizing the fall of man and the enmity between the offspring of the evil one and the offspring of Eve.  How else do you explain the unleashing of evil this past Wednesday in San Bernardino? 
  2. The Christian life will always be a struggle. Don’t get discouraged because the Christian life isn’t easy.  Determine to be fully devoted to Christ no matter how hard it gets.  It’s not supposed to be easy.  We’re at war.  Life is hard, times are difficult, and the enemy is attacking on every side.   Satan is the enemy of our souls as well.  1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  He hates you and will do anything he can to take you down.

I love what Paul wrote to persecuted believers in Romans 16:20: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”

  1. Receive the sacrifice of the Son.  There’s at least one more picture of salvation found in Genesis 3.  We’ve looked at Satan, sin, shame, seeking, squirming, sentencing and the Savior.   I want you to see the word “sacrifice” in Genesis 3:21: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.”

Adam and Eve tried their best to cover up their sin and shame with fig leaves.  But they fall apart and probably need a new one every day.  The same is true for us.  If we try to cover ourselves or make ourselves look presentable, we will always fall short.  So God provided garments of skin and clothed them.  Only God can provide the covering we need.  The emphasis is on God’s initiative, as He takes care of their shame.  

Stay with me.  Because these coverings were made of skin, we know an animal sacrifice had been made.  Can you imagine the horror that Adam and Eve felt when they witnessed death for the first time?  God slaughtered an innocent animal to provide a covering for them.  In that very moment they saw first hand how much their sin really cost.

For the first time in history, suffering, sacrifice and innocent blood is shed so that human sin might be covered and community with God could be restored.  This is the foretaste of substitutionary atonement.  God is setting the stage for the Passover, and later for the death of Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins.  The message was clear: God can only be approached by way of sacrifice because our sins have separated us from Him.  

Christmas is all about how Christ covers our curse by dying in our place on the cross! 

Let me try to pull all this together.  Christmas is all about how Christ covers our curse by dying in our place on the cross!  God was sinned against and so He provided a sacrifice for sinners.   God made coats of skin to cover sin.  Jesus is God with skin on.  And when we believe and receive the sacrifice of His Son we are covered with the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Our Substitute

Another implication of Genesis 3:15 is fleshed out in Hebrews 2:14.  Speaking of Jesus, we read, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.”   Jesus clearly fulfilled Genesis 3:15.  The bruised and broken Messiah destroyed the power of death and the devil.  

But, there’s more.  By His death, Hebrews 2:15 tells that Jesus came to reverse the curse of the Fall.  By coming at Christmas and then dying in our place as our sin substitute on the Cross, He has freed us from death and the devil: “…and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”  

Jesus died in our place to not only defeat death and the devil; He also died to deliver us.  He offers each of us a gift, a gift that was wrapped way back in Genesis 3:15.  Indeed, because of Christmas B.C., you and I can be free!

God always works in conjunction with our response.  God is still asking that question, “Where are you?  Are you ready to stop hiding and blaming and start believing?”  To put it another way, Jesus was bruised and broken for you.  When He died on the Cross, He smashed Satan and provided a way for you to experience forgiveness of sins and eternal life.  But, it’s not automatic.  You need to receive Him into your life.  John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”  Will you receive Him today?

Instead of the headline, “God Isn’t Fixing This!” we can say with confidence that God has fixed this by the sending of His Son.  In the midst of the curse and its consequences, He has provided a covering.  He has made a solution for sin and it can be fixed in your life when you reach out by faith and ask Him to cover your sins.

I close with these headlines:

He is the first and the last,

The beginning and the end

He is the keeper of creation and the creator of all!

He is the architect of the universe and the manager of all times.

He always was, He always is, and He always will be…

He was bruised and brought healing!

He was pierced and eased pain!

He was persecuted and brought freedom!

He was dead and brought life!

He is risen and brings power!

He reigns and brings peace!

He is God, He is faithful

I am His, and He is mine!

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?