The 3rd Day of Advent
“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.”
The story of the Fall might seem like a strange place for an Advent text. Yet in the words of this obscure verse in Genesis we find the first shadowy hints in Scripture—the first inkling if you will—of both the Incarnation and the crucifixion. Theologians going all the way back to Justin Martyr and Irenaeus in the 2nd Century have called it the Protoevangelium—the First Gospel.
While God began His curse with the snake, He quickly shifted His attention to the one who manipulated the serpent: Satan, himself. Notice that while in verses 11-13 God questioned the man and the woman for an explanation of their behavior, He grants no opportunity for Satan to even concoct an excuse for his role in this calamity. Rather, God straightaway curses the Prince of Darkness. No glimmer of hope, however distant, is offered Satan. His fate is sealed for all eternity.
Enmity: The word carries with it the idea of a state of intense hostility. A state of war would always exist between Satan and the human race. There can be no peaceful coexistence between humanity and the forces of darkness. This is a fight to the death.
“…her offspring…” – Notice that the word “offspring” is singular. This is a prediction of the coming of an individual who would deal a deathblow to the serpent.
“…he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” – This future champion (Jesus) would deal a death blow to the evil behind the serpent but would be grievously wounded in the process. As humanity would learn many years later, the wound would in fact be mortal. But it would not be lasting.
Praise God for His redemption plan in sending His Son! Never forget that this Advent, we are celebrating the birth of our Messiah into this broken and sinful world. Jesus Christ is the redemption plan of God the Father to restore us back into a right relationship with Himself.
Questions to Ponder:
- That first sin, a seemingly small transgression, had cosmic consequences. What does Adam and Eve’s sin tell us about God’s glory and holiness?
- Before time began (see Ephesians 1:4-5) God had already set in motion a plan for human redemption. What does that tell you about the depth of God’s love and forgiveness toward us?
- How can you live on mission in your communities this Christmas season with this “First Gospel” in mind?