Sunday’s Message | February 21, 2016
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
indent cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and fdust you shall eat
all the days of your life.”
15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring5 and gher offspring;
hhe shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
f Isaiah 65.25; Micah 7.17.
5 Hebrew seed; so throughout Genesis. This is singular.
g Isaiah 7.14; Micah 5.3; Matthew 1.23, 1.25; Luke 1.34, 1:35; Galatians 4.4; 1 Timothy 2.15.
h Romans 16.20; Hebrews 2.14; Revelation 20.1–3, 20.10
If you’re like me (which I pray you’re not), Genesis is not the first place in the Bible you turn when trying to find some sort of hope in a dark time, or an insight into God’s will when you’re overwhelmed and confused. Genesis is the old stuff, the basic stuff. My problems (so my problems tell me), usually require deeper theology: maybe something from the deep prayers of the Psalms, or certainly insight from Paul will reveal a secret that I’ve been missing in a particularly disturbing time.
At the beginning of the world being cursed and falling apart, my God jumped between me and the snake that bit me.
But, Genesis is there for a big reason. When I think my current situation is beyond help, it helps me to know that God saw me in my mess at the beginning. At the beginning of sin, at the beginning of the world being cursed and falling apart, my God saw me. When Satan took the keys of the Kingdom out of our hands, our God promised to put his own life on the line to save mine. “He shall strike your head, and you shall strike his heel.”1 It’s all there in Genesis. The Lamb of God died so that I could live with God. The single Lamb of God put himself in the way of Satan so that my sin today could die with him.
Fast-forward to today (which is what I do with most of history, unfortunately), and I can trust my God. My life now is not what it will be, now that Jesus has crushed the head of my sin. If Genesis is true, then Jesus has been preparing my grace much longer than I’ve been sinning. Which is good for me, because then he has much more experience with my situation than I do: despair, pressure, worry, loss. God’s entire solution for our darkness is rooted in despair – he gives up his only Son to die – in exchange for my only opportunity for joy.
God’s been busy long before I was. God is strong enough and loving enough to bring me through this one open door in the middle of a dark world. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”2 Be enthralled by him. Trusting Jesus to leave my sin in his grave is the one way to the life I really need – and because of that our God gets all the glory of everyone who has lived or will ever live. God has given a light in our darkness. He is Jesus: my Lamb and my God.
1 Genesis 3.15. The word for “bruise” [ESV] and “crush” or “strike” [NIV] is the same Hebrew word, “shoot” and literally means, “to rub off or rub away; to grind.” This suggests that both the snake and the one crushing the snake will be “rubbed out” or killed. The Gospel is in the fact that Jesus is not only a man that gives up his perfect life for sinful people, but is also God who has the authority to raise himself from death three days later.
2 John 1.29