I love Christmas. It isn’t the music or the decorations or the gifts that I love as much as the meaning of the season. I do love the music and the decorations and the gifts, but I love them because they remind me that God broke in to our world at it’s darkest hour to save us from ourselves – more specifically to save me from myself. That’s why I love Christmas. So, for the next month, I will be picking verses and passages from the Bible that relate to Christmas, and sharing them with you. The first reference in Scripture to Christmas is actually in Genesis 3.
The LORD God said to the serpent,“Because you have done this,cursed are you above all livestockand above all beasts of the field;on your belly you shall go,and dust you shall eatall the days of your life.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.”(Genesis 3:14-15 ESV)
This is the judgement on Satan after he tempted Adam and Eve and they (and by extension, we) fell into sin. There are four great facts in this judgment that are foundational to Christianity and the rest of Scripture:
1. hostility between Satan and women – throughout history, women have been oppressed, treated as no better than slaves in many countries. Even in this country, they are often treated by men simply as sex objects instead of being held in high esteem and honored. This is a result of original sin.
2. hostility between Satan’s offspring and the woman’s offspring – The Bible calls those whose hearts have not been regenerated by Christ (non-Christians), Satan’s offspring:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV)
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 ESV)
The Old Testament contains record after record of attempts by Satan’s seed to destroy God’s righteous line and thus prevent Christmas ever happening. First Cain killed Abel, and when Seth was born to continue the righteous line, the attack became intense until only Noah was left. God sent the Flood to preserve the righteous line and later made His promise to Abraham that He would love and look after a new nation to be developed from Abraham’s seed, and that the Redeemer would come from that nation (Genesis 12:7; Galatians 3:16). Later the righteous line was specified to come from one family, David’s (Psalm 89:3-4), of the ruling tribe of Judah. And so the attack intensified. Then in Isaiah 7:14 God gave more details of His promise of Christmas to the house of David: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel [God with us].” Every woman had the equipment necessary to bring the Redeemer into the world, but only one woman found favour with God (Luke 1:30), and this was because “she… believed” (verse 45). Even after the birth of Jesus, the attacks continued. Herod killed all the babies under two years old, and the family had to flee into Egypt. Satan tempted Jesus to jump from the pinnacle of the temple but to no avail. He thought he had won when Jesus hung on the cross, until Jesus rose from the dead, conquering death and the grave and defeating Satan and his offspring forever.
3. the woman’s offspring shall bruise Satan’s head – To “bruise the head” is an oriental term meaning to break the Lordship of another. On the cross, Jesus gave Satan a fatal blow to the head that broke forever his lordship over the earth. He made it possible for us to be transferred out of Satan’s domain of darkness into the kingdom of God.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 ESV)
4. Satan will bruise Christ’s heel – Christ’s ultimate victory over Satan does come at a price, however. Jesus was crucified for our sins, and Scripture clearly says that the way of the follower of Christ involves persecution and sacrifice.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23 ESV)
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:18-20 ESV)
Jesus does not promise His followers an easy path. Christ’s path was not easy either. What he does promise us is Himself – and that is enough. This is the gospel. And it is all here in Genesis 3. Right after the fall of man, the ultimate redemption of man is foreshadowed. In God’s wrath and judgment, his grace and mercy are already being revealed. Christmas is coming!