Faithlife
Faithlife

Foretelling of a Savior

Scriptures We Don't Often Read at Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Examining the foretelling of a savior from the beginning

Notes & Transcripts
READ SCRIPTURE
Genesis 3:14–19 ESV
14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 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.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
PRAYER
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday cheer…I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…O Come All Ye Faithful…Silent Night, Holy Night…O Holy Night…Joy to the World...
But we’re not there yet are we? We’re just now entering the season of Advent - a season of expectation.
Perhaps one of the most haunting and longing hymns we sing at this time of the years is O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of god appear.
and each phrase ends with the refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
As haunting as it is, there is a sense of expectation there. We forget that Jesus will return.
In our high self-esteem culture, it seems to me that the fact that we are in need of a savior is all too often forgotten. This goes back to the very beginning, in the garden as we read in Genesis where the great tempter persuaded Eve that somehow God was holding something back from them, somehow keeping them as subjects rather than equals.
But the story is not telling us that we are self sufficient at all. In fact it is quite the opposite.
The tempter said, “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God...” (Genesis 3:5)
As the story unfolds the Man (Adam) and the Woman (Eve) eat of the tree and discover they are vulnerable and thus cover themselves. Fear has entered the world - fear of being open, fear of being found out - they now cover themselves from all others, they now hide themselves from God. They’ve lost the security they had in their relationship with God. They’ve lost openness...
they’ve lost innocence...
they’ve lost trust...
And so the story began of our separation from God through sin. We refer to this as “The Fall...”
And our passage this morning is the consequence that God announces to them as the result of their actions. Please note that God does not curse anyone other than the serpent, God does not curse those created in his image.
So why are we looking at this as a Christmas verse?
Let’s look specifically at .
Genesis 3:15 ESV
15 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 phrase, “I will put enmity between you and the woman,” has an extended meaning -
Genesis 3:15 ESV
15 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 relationship between serpents and humankind - even Indiana Jones hates snakes.
Secondly however is the antagonism between the tempter and humankind.
In the second part: and between your offspring and her offspring.
Genesis 3:15 ESV
15 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.”
Here, the curse outgrows the literal serpent and refers almost exclusively to the invisible tempter. The hostility that begins here is to continue through their descendants. The offspring of the serpent would be those obeying the devils rule, and the offspring of the woman those whose character and life should be of an opposite description. In particular that of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:16 ESV
16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.
It is critical here to understand that this is not referring strictly to physical lineage but to spiritual descent. Satan cannot bear children as he is a fallen angel, and there is no where in Scripture giving evidence of angels ability to reproduce.
1 John 3:8 ESV
8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
Finally we get to the last part of our verse.
Genesis 3:15 ESV
15 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.”
He Shall bruise your head - this signifies the the serpent being completely destroyed, the head of the reptile being the part of it’s body in which a wound is the most dangerous.
You shall bruise his heel - you shall think you’re giving a great wound, but it will not be a wound that destroys the one you bruise. This is an inferior wound, and one that doesn’t completely destroy.
So how do we apply all of this?
is messianic. The identity of the said descendant is clear. Note also that as we read the genealogy of Jesus in , it is immediately after that he is led into battle with Satan in the wilderness temptations. This war finds it’s conclusion at the cross where the Messiah lands his mortal blow to the serpent, the tempter, Satan.
Contained within this curse is the prophecy that God will send a redeemer to crush the enemy. Jesus is the offspring who is descended from Eve and went to do battle with Satan. The rest of the Bible is an unfolding fo this prophecy. Redemption is promised in this verse and the Bible traces the development of redemption from this verse.
That redemption that was paid for on the cross is something we celebrate as we enter Advent and as we celebrate Communion this morning. Jesus knew the battle before him, it was one in which he would pay for our sins, once for all.
Hebrews 9:27–28 ESV
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
PRAYER
Galatians 4:4–7 ESV
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
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