The First Promise of the Messiah
Open Your Bible
Genesis 3:1-15, 1 Corinthians 15:45-49, Hebrews 2:14-16
BY Erin Davis
It may not make your list of top ten favorite Christmas passages, but right here in Genesis, on the first few pages of God’s Word, we see Him—Jesus, our Savior. Evil was there, too, first slithering toward humanity as a serpent with a single goal: to tempt God’s beloved children to question the authority of their Maker. And what followed doesn’t exactly make for a pretty Christmas card.
The Advent season gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the ache that has remained since this moment in the garden. The collateral damage of sin and destruction, separation and devastation and grief persist, even now at the “most wonderful time of the year.” Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, Sheesh, Scrooge! Didn’t you get the message about all things merry and bright? I did, believe me. I am so grateful for this season of wonder. Yet, for Christmas to have its full effect on my heart—on my life—I choose to sit, for now, in the reality that sin still exists. If I skip that step, my longing for a Savior inevitably ebbs, and the meaning of Christmas is lost to lesser things.
As I wait with expectation to consider again the miracle of Christmas morning, Genesis 3 reminds me that this season is not just about a baby in a manger, but about a Savior on a cross. The gift of God’s Son loses its impact without knowing the entirety of God’s redemptive plan. This season we celebrate that Jesus not only came to live with us—He came to save us from the tyranny of the serpent, of evil itself. Genesis 3 reminds us that as soon as sin began distorting the human heart, the gospel was proclaimed. As God handed down the curse, He started with the serpent.
“He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel” (v.15).
Right here in Genesis, before Gabriel visited Mary, before the shepherds witnessed the night sky filled with the heavenly host, at the epicenter of sin’s power, the Messiah was promised.
It’s true that the enemy keeps nipping at the heels of those who bear Christ’s image. Advent isn’t about pretending our world isn’t broken. But way back in the garden, when Satan took his first shot at the image-bearers of God, Christ proclaimed the victory. At the cross, Jesus delivered the promised death blow that forever loosened Satan’s grip on the hearts of man.
Without understanding our sin and brokenness, we would not know the goodness of the gospel that caused the angels to sing. In this Advent season, and every season, may we remember God has always been—since the very beginning—heaven-bent on our redemption.