The Lord's Crushing Promise - For You

Text: Genesis 3:1-15

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

In the Garden of Eden, things were great.  No shame. No guilt. No toil. No blame. And no fear. Things were perfect.  Yes, there were no deficiencies but only uninterrupted thanksgiving to God.  Everywhere Adam and Eve turned, they were being given gifts from God.  They received warm sunlight, rain, food, drink, and were completely safe with peace of mind and body.  Indeed, they had the approval of God and were happy.  Adam and Eve experienced harmony with the land and complimented each other perfectly.  This is how it was in the beginning. 

However, as we know, this is not how it is for us today.  You see, something happened that ruined this perfection.  Something happened that turned the world upside down. Something happened that destroyed goodness that existed at the beginning. 

As we read tonight from Genesis chapter 3, we heard the sad story of how everything was ruined.  We heard the story of Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God.  We heard how they ate the forbidden fruit – how they rebelled against God and how this rebellion disrupted their happy relationship with God, each other, and nature itself.  We heard how things became totally corrupted and infected with sin.  We heard how everything became unraveled into the enormous mess that we have before us today. 

Now, it has been said before that Genesis chapter 3 is the most tragic chapter in all of the Bible, which I think we can agree.  Reading Genesis chapter 3 is no cake walk.  However, we must be careful not to read over Genesis 3 too quickly and then toss it off to the side, as if it is too depressing.  In other words, in spite of the melancholy flavor, Genesis chapter 3 actually shows us why all the other chapters and books of the Bible follow.  Yes, without Genesis chapter 3, the whole Bible will not make sense.  And if the Bible will not make sense, then our Christian faith will be confused at best. 

You see, buried in the midst of this sad story of Adam and Eve’s fall into sin, is a shiny gold nugget – a promise to be precise.  And it is because of this remarkable promise made long ago that we celebrate the coming of Christmas here at Zion.  And what is that promise that is buried in the catastrophe of Genesis 3?  In Genesis 3:15 we read,

“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.” 

Did you hear the promise?

Dear friends, in the midst of humanities first and most horrific tragedy - in the midst of God cursing Satan - in the midst of God cursing man and woman and all of the earth itself – in the midst of all of this disaster of sin and sadess, God gives the Good News of the Gospel in the form of a Promise.  That is to say; He promises a seed, a male descendant from Eve that would crush the head of Satan.  Yes, right there at the beginning of the Bible – three chapters in – we hear God’s promise of Jesus.  We hear the first gospel!  We hear that there is one coming who will be born of woman, who will deliver mankind and the entire world from sin, death, and the Devil.  We hear the defeat of the evil foe, right there in the beginning.    

Do you know what this means?  It means that Christmas is a fulfillment of the promise made in Genesis chapter 3.  Yes, long ago in Genesis 3:15, God promised a Messiah to the world – a Messiah who would make things right again, which means that when we page through the Old Testament, what we hear is not a collection of miscellaneous stories, but we hear about God keeping His promise throughout the ages.  The Old Testament is the history of our salvation, it is the tracing of the Lord’s promise from Genesis chapter 3 to the manger in Bethlehem.  And as we know from the Old Testament, even when things looked really, really bad, God did not relent on His promise.  The promise did not falter but followed through to Christmas with the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem.   

That is how it goes with promises.  When God makes a promise, He keeps it.  When God gives us a promise, we can trust it. 

And so, this Advent and Christmas Season, we not only marvel at how God kept that promise long ago from Genesis 3:15 by the birth of the Son of God in Bethlehem, but we marvel at the fact that this promise has been fulfilled for you and me this day. 

Dear Baptized Saints, that promise of the Messiah crushing the head of Satan is a promise that we can hang our body, mind, and soul on.  It is a promise that is not only fulfilled but a promise that grants us continual faith and assurance each and every single day.  It points to the clear hope of our victory in Christ and the certainty of our resurrections.  You see, the Genesis 3:15 promise is a promise that the Devil’s head would be crushed, which it was on the cross of Jesus Christ.  And if the Devil’s head was crushed, then your death indeed must be crushed as well.  And if your death has been crushed, then that means that the condemnation of your sin has been crushed.  And if the condemnation of your sin is crushed, then the verdict of the Law is crushed as well.  And if the Law can no longer accuse you, then you have complete and total assurance – assurance that no matter what happens in this life, that there is no shame, guilt, toil, blame, or fear in Christ. 

Baptized Saints, even though this life is upside down and ruined by humanity’s sin in Adam and Eve, we hold fast to this promise given long ago.  We cling – with both eyes open – to the promise that was given to us, knowing that in due time all things will be made anew.  Yes, this upside down world of sin and death itself are indeed awful and tyrannical, but God’s promise and God’s crushing power make sin and death into nothing. 

Like Adam and Eve, we hear the promise of the Messiah this Advent and Christmas Season.  We hear about the Messiah who came to crush the devil’s head, which gives us the same hope and assurance that Adam and Eve had… hope and assurance that death will be taken away, that sin will be abolished, and that the righteousness, life, and peace will be restored. 

In this promise and hope, Adam and Eve lived and died.  In this promise and hope, we live and die as well.  However, in this promise and hope – with Adam and Eve – we all will be raised to newness of life, for Christ Jesus has indeed crushed the head of Satan for you and me.   

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

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