Summary: Christmas is all about how Christ covers our curse by dying in our place on the cross, thus crushing the head of Satan.
Jesus the Victor
Rev. Brian Bill
December 5-6, 2015
After the murder of 14 people in California this week, the New York Daily News ran a bold four word headline across the entire front page: “GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS.”
In the midst of our cultural conversation about crime and catastrophes, if I could reveal to you the one thing that is behind all the mass shootings, like the ones in Colorado Springs and San Bernardino this week, would you want to know?
Have you ever wondered where terrorism comes from and why ISIS is so evil? Does it baffle you that the culture in which we live has legalized the taking of human life in the womb? Would you be interested in hearing an explanation for every atrocity ever committed in the history of the human race?
The answer is found in a book, in one chapter in particular. Turn in your Bibles to Genesis 3. You may wonder what all this has to do with our new Christmas series called, “Christmas B.C.” But it actually has everything to do with it.
Did you know that if you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of Christmas in the Old Testament? Written over a 1,000-year period, the first part of the Bible contains about 300 prophecies that were fulfilled with precision in Jesus Christ. We don’t have time to look at each one, but we will tackle four of them this month to help us understand who Jesus is and why His coming is so important:
• Jesus the Victor (Genesis 3:15)
• Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
• One Baby with Many Names (Isaiah 9:6-7)
• The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14)
Most of these prophecies were written down more than 500 years before they were fulfilled. This is no accident and is certainly not a coincidence. In Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for Christ,” he points out the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one in one hundred million billion.
I’ve always been intrigued by what the resurrected Jesus might have said to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:27: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” I’m sure He interpreted all four of these passages, among others.
Setting the Scene
Let’s set the scene by putting our text in context. The opening two chapters celebrate God as the Creator and human beings as the apex of His creativity. Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect innocence and were placed in a perfect environment. They had an idyllic existence with only one restriction, to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Let’s see what happens in Genesis 3. We’ll walk through this narrative using 8 key words.
1. Satan. Everything is going well until Eve is tempted by the serpent, who is controlled by Satan. The devil deceives and casts doubt into Eve’s heart, misquoting what God had said and implying that He was holding out on them. We see this in verse 1: “Did God actually say?” It’s telling that the serpent uses the generic name for God instead of the name used in the first part of the verse: Yahweh Elohim, which speaks of Him as the covenant creator. In verses 4-5, the serpent boldly slams God’s character.
2. Sin. As Eve begins to doubt, she also fixates on that which is forbidden. She takes her eyes off God’s generous provisions and starts to think only of what is prohibited. We see this in verse 6: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Eve gives in and eats the fruit and gives some to Adam and he also eats.
3. Shame. Verse 7 describes the shame that immediately follows their sin: “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” Because they are suddenly self-conscious, exposed and their conscience has been activated, they try to cover their sin and their shame. Human beings have been trying to manage their sin and shame ever since.
4. Separation. Their sin and shame have now caused separation, so they try to get as far from God as they can in verse 8: “…and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” We’re still trying to hide from God. Adam and Eve could no longer face each other without clothing and now they dread facing God.