The First Promise of the Messiah
Open Your Bible
Genesis 3:1-15, 1 Corinthians 15:45-57
“No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed.”
– Matthew Henry
My salvation story is not a classic case of “I was blind, but now I see.” I’ve seen those stories up close, watched Jesus pull His children from the darkest pit into eternal light. My own experience has been less like night and day and more like a steady, slow tug on a long, sure rope. Less drama, but equal parts amazing grace.
Even still, my journey to Jesus began the moment I realized I was lost. I was young, but not too young to recognize the void inside. I was small, but not too small to respond when the preacher said Jesus could fill it. My journey began at the first realization of my need, a need that goes back to the Garden. It is a need connected by an invisible thread to the first Adam and the first Eve, the first time we, the created ones, looked at the Creator and His infinite goodness and said, “Nope, it’s not enough. I want more.”
As is the way of sin, more became less. Like a mirage, it beckons us, and together, generation after generation, we find the serpent’s promise is an empty one. Yet there they stood and here we stand— naked, guilty, ashamed, afraid— hiding from the One whose loving hands formed us.
Friends, this betrayal is one we cannot fix. The puzzle of sin and the separation from our Maker is not one we can solve. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable,” Paul says to the church at Corinth. We cannot be with God in this condition.
He loves us, oh, how He loves us.
And He is holy, oh, so holy.
And as long as we, His beloved, are wearing a cloak of fig leaves and sin, we cannot be in His presence.
“For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” – 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, ESV
We must put on immortality.
But we cannot do that.
I cannot do that.
God knew this. He knew we needed the Second Adam—He knew we needed a Savior. “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven… Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:47, 49, ESV)
Do you hear that glorious promise? God’s words in the Garden that day were not about revenge on the serpent who deceived His sons and daughters. It was a promise of the Second Adam, the One who would take on humanity (“I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers”), suffer and die (“you will strike his heel”), and deliver death its fatal blow (“he will crush your head”). (Genesis 3:5)
God’s promise in the Garden was our redemption through Jesus Christ. It is better than a do-over, more merciful than a second chance. In fact, it is not our doing at all. Jesus is the Second Adam who does what we ought to have done, then invites us to partake in the blessings of His obedience. There in the Garden, the Father commits the perfect life of His Son to the recovery of our freedom, the covering of all our shame, and the defeat of fear and death.
It is not within my power to “put on immortality” so that I might enter the presence of the holy, living God. I have no way to get back the freedom lost in the Garden that day or to loosen the shackles I tighten with each act of defiance against the One who loves me. Oh, but Jesus, He is the Way. He is the Life. And He invites us to Himself, every one.
“So now we pause. Still. Ponder. Hush. Wait. Each day of Advent, He gives you the gift of time, so you have time to be still and wait. Wait for the coming of the God in the manger who makes Himself bread for us near starved. For the Savior in swaddlings who makes Himself the robe of righteousness for us worn out. For Jesus, who makes precisely what none of us can but all of us want: Christmas.”
– Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
For an added layer of worship during this sweet season of adoration and expectation, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Advent 2014! You can find the complete SheReadsTruth | O Come Let Us Adore Him playlist at this link, or listen to today’s track on the player below. Enjoy!