Saturday, February 26, 2005


The First Gospel

Why is Genesis 3:15 so important? It is known as the Protevangelium, “The First Gospel”. It reveals so much about God…not just what we read at face value but God’s sovereignty, God’s love for us all along, God’s ability to pull things together into a beautiful weaving when all appears random and chaotic. These are things we were meant to dwell on. Many of us have been taught, “God loves you” and “Jesus loves you” but haven’t been shown the masses of evidence for that love. “God is big.” “God is powerful.” But the story of humanity, enclosed in leather bound bibles, collecting dust on so many shelves, reveals God’s plan and His mightiness in carrying it out. God is able. God established covenant with His creation. God revealed His sovereignty in His name Elohim (el-lo-heem’). God is one who can make a covenant (promise something) with absolute authority. Genesis 6:18, God promised, “but with thee will I establish My covenant.” Who of you has noticed or been taught the inkling of God’s covenant with man in Genesis 3:15, the prophecy of Jesus? “And I will put enmity between you (God is speaking to Satan, the serpent) and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.” He (who?) will crush your head (that’s the snake’s head), and you will strike His heel.” What do you see in this passage? The accepted relativistic answer would be, “Whatever you see is right for you.” I would not go there. There is one interpretation that is right. Theologically, God could only mean one thing, not according to me…but in prayer, reading commentary and the rest of the Bible, there are logical explanations.
Logical from the root, logos or word…so relying heavily on God’s Word, the woman is the faithful, or my commentary says “mankind”. At this early age in history, there is no distinction. Her offspring and Satan’s offspring will be enemies. This sentence alone would appear to be about the long history of torment Satan’s agents have inflicted upon humanity. If we consider the woman’s “seed” to be from God’s chosen people, the prophecy remains accurate. Jesus was born a Jew, from the tribe of Judah. The enmity exists. Clearly, God’s people have increased awareness of this battle. Thanks to Paul and his warning of the spiritual warfare (Ephesians 5:10-12). The evidence is a constant hatred toward Christians/Jews somewhere in the world throughout history. True Christians and Jews know there is only one God and absolutely no other. The church of Christ believes Jesus is the one way to God. Non-believers certainly disagree in some fashion at best, or see Christians as self-righteous snobs and worse. Right? This isn’t to say we must be enemies but to point out the huge crevasse to be bridged! While Christians are to love their neighbor and simply be witnesses for Christ (no suicide bombers to fear), the neighbor just might hate us! Enmity. Jesus put it simply, “He who is not with Me is against Me.” Luke 11:23
Genesis 3:15 continues. He, Satan’s enemy, is going to crush Satan’s head! So this offspring from the woman is a He! There is One alone who has crushed, past tense, Satan and He is Jesus Christ, Son of Man (the woman’s offspring). The victory was on the cross. Satan’s authority was taken from him, a fatal blow to the head. Christ became Head of the church because of His choosing to die on the cross. “…and you,[Satan], will strike His heel.” Satan’s strike was a feeble attempt to take down the Messiah…Jesus was killed at the dirty hand of Evil Incarnate…but it was merely a hit to His heel! Jesus lives! God is Almighty! El-Shaddai. And we’re only in the third chapter! Moses wrote this when? Some time between 1450 and 1410 BC! And what if another hypothesis were proven and the date was 850-500 BC? It doesn’t matter! Whoever and whenever, the author certainly had no idea of the meaning of these words. For all he knew, he was speaking of women and snakes! Enemies indeed! To jump into “He” pronouns and crushing the serpent’s head, (???) mysterious for sure. But because we have the awesome insight of hindsight, we can see. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who don’t see and yet believe” to Thomas. But just look what we can see. Did Thomas understand Genesis 3:15? Possibly. Not likely.

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