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And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise
you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.
Genesis 3:15 (NASB)
Long before Jesus was born, He was promised as the Messiah. We find the first prophecy of His coming all the way back in the garden of Eden. It started with a temptation. The serpent convinced Eve to eat from the tree God had told her and Adam not to eat from. After Eve ate the fruit, she gave it to Adam, and he ate some too. Genesis 3:7 says, "At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness..." We know this was the moment that sin entered the world and separated us from God. Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves, and when the Lord came to the garden in the evening like He did every day, they hid. "Adam, where are you?" the Lord God called, and Adam replied, "I'm hiding because I'm naked and I'm afraid. "Really? Who told you that you were naked?" asked the Lord. "Have you eaten from the tree I told you not to eat?" Adam hung his head and said "Yes, I'm sorry. I was wrong." Wait a minute. That's not what Adam said. Not even close! He was quick to blame Eve and even God Himself when he said to God, "It was the woman you gave me. She ate it first and wanted me to eat it, so I did." At this time, God turned to Eve and asked her what she had done? She blamed her actions on the serpent; she said he had deceived her, and that's why she ate the fruit (see Gen 3:8-13).
God knew what had happened. He knows everything. God wanted Adam to admit to wrongdoing. He wanted Eve not to blame the serpent, but rather acknowledge what she had done. Their response confirmed that sin had indeed come into the world. And with sin, must come judgment. God had previously told Adam and Eve that eating from the tree would bring death, and now He would judge them individually. He begins with the serpent.
Scripture reveals that the serpent was Satan (Rev 12:9). God cursed both the snake and spoke a prophecy and promise of a coming Savior who would crush Satan. When God said "her seed" in Genesis 3:15, He was talking about Jesus (see Gal 3:16). Jesus, who is God, would come as a man and Savior of the world. Satan would strike His heel, but this promised seed would crush Satan's head. Jesus fulfilled this promise at the cross and His resurrection. Satan "struck Jesus' heel" by causing Him to suffer in His life on earth, but the victory belonged to Jesus. His blood shed was the perfect sacrifice God the Father required to redeem man. God used what Satan meant for harm to bring salvation to all people. The first Adam brought death to the world, but Jesus, who is called the second Adam, defeated death when He rose from the grave. Jesus "crushed Satan's head" so to speak.
A popular slogan at Christmas is "Jesus is the reason for the season," From this first prophecy of the promised seed, I see at least two reasons to celebrate Jesus in this season:
Jesus' birth was where it started. Reconciliation was God's plan from the beginning. Although He set up a temporary plan (the Law) until Jesus came, the temporary arrangement was not available to all people nor was it able to defeat Satan and death. Only a perfect sacrifice would accomplish these things. And Jesus is the perfect sacrifice! He is the reason we can be reconciled to God! So as we move into this holiday season, I hope we will all remember what Christmas is really about!