Day 3

The First Promise of the Messiah

from the Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope reading plan

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.

Post Comments (175)

175 thoughts on "The First Promise of the Messiah"

  1. Mikayla Wear says:

    In the exerpt from 1 Corinthians, I thought it was really cool how it talked about the connection between Adam and Jesus, the natural and the spiritual, because the natural birth comes first and then the spiritual birth if that is what people choose. I pray constantly for people in my life to realize that they are only dust without Jesus Christ, and that God sent His Son to make a Way for us to become more than dust through Christ, that has always been God’s will for our lives.

  2. Molly Gilbane says:

    How important to remember that WE STILL NEED JESUS. Sin still exists, in a systemic level in our world. The collateral damage from this moment in the garden is still felt by each and every one of us. Acknowledging our fundamental need for Jesus allows us to fully appreciate the truly spirit of Christmas. That it wasn’t just about a baby in a manger— it was about the entirety of God’s plan— a Savior on the cross who would take the sins of the world on His shoulders and deliver the final death blow— loosening the devil’s grip on our hearts. Jesus conquered all.

  3. Jen Thompson says:

    Erin, thank you so much for these words that have caused me to reflect and have pierced my heart! So beautifully written.

  4. Ada Anderson says:

    Thank you Lord for your redemptive plan!

  5. Melissa says:

    Amen! So good to remember this! As I was worshipping in church this past Sunday, the Lord spoke to me, “The Baby in the manger is the King of the Universe.” That seems to go right along with what the author is saying in this devotional.

  6. MsAmy Vann* says:

    As I was reading this bible passages, I couldn’t help but wonder – why did God put the tree there? If it wasn’t there, there would be no need for the serpent to deceive Eve. There would be no need for Eve to eat the fruit. There would be sin, no destruction, no death. We would have continued living in peaceful harmony and existence with God. I don’t know but I’m struggling to understand why God put the tree in the garden. If anyone could help with explanation or point me to further reading, please do. Thank you.

    1. Emily Booth says:

      Because God wanted to give us free choice, h

    2. Emily Booth says:

      God wanted to give us free choice, he wanted to give us the chance to make our own mistakes.

      1. Rachel Jackson says:

        Here is another way to think of it. (I do not agree with the speaker’s comment that the choice idea is ridiculous. I like the way he explains the rest of it, though.)

    3. Rachel Jackson says:

      I don’t think God wanted Adam and Eve to make mistakes. I believe he wanted them to trust him. Here is a different way to think of it:
      By the way, please do not be offended by the speaker’s comments at the beginning. I do not agree that the idea of choice is ridiculous, as he says. I have always considered the tree to be an object of faith, and this guy explains that well.

  7. Reina Sikabwe says:

    Because sin entered the world we have jesus…without sin there would be no hope for redemption.

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