Christmas in Eden

INTRODUCTION:

Joke: A Hollywood director and crew from the US were shooting a film in India. Suddenly an Indian shows up, walks to the Director and says, “Tomorrow wind Storm, No shooting please. “ Sure enough a storm came and Director saved lots of money. A few days later, again shooting preparedness was made and the Indian shows up. “Tomorrow hurricane, no shooting please.” Sure enough a hurricane came and Director saved the money.

The director got very fond of this Indian. Now he was reaching towards the climax of the important shooting and waiting for the Indian to come and predict the weather. The Indian was no where to be found. So he personally went looking for him and found him in his small house. He went inside, bowed to him, praised him and prayed that he bless him with the prediction for tomorrow’s finale. The Indian says, “Tomorrow no prediction. My Radio broke down please.”

Nowadays, weather predictions go wrong: I read about a man who was a very qualified TV meteorologist but did a terrible job at forecasting the weather. He lost his job and eventually moved to another state and applied for a similar job. In the interview they asked the reason for leaving his previous position. He said, “The climate there never agreed with me.”

While it is impossible for any of us to forecast the future, the Bible is packed with predictive prophecies. If you read closely, you can hear the sounds of Christmas right in the Old Testament. The OT written over a 1,000-year period contains about 300 references to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Today we are going to take a look at the very first Christmas message ever preached.

The first Christmas wasn’t celebrated until at least 300 years after the birth of Christ, but the first Christmas message was preached at least 4000 years before the birth of Christ. The first Christmas message ever was preached by God the Creator Himself. Adam and Eve along with Satan was the congregation. The Garden of Eden was the sanctuary. Where is this first Christmas message recorded?

Genesis 3:14-15 14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Adam and Eve have just eaten the prohibited fruit and sin has entered paradise. Their first impulse is to hide from God. Their second is to make excuses for their sin. Adam blames the woman and Eve blames the serpent. No one is willing to stand up and say, “I did it. It’s my fault and I take responsibility.”

Suddenly the glorious garden is not so beautiful. The entrance of sin has ruined Eden. Dark shadows fall on the ground as Adam and Eve contemplate what they have done. The smell of death is in the air. Under a nearby tree the serpent lies quietly. He alone is happy. He delights in what is happening for this was his plan from the very beginning. He intended to humiliate God by ruining paradise and now he has done it. Satan who once fell from God’s presence took man out of the presence of God. He was telling that human beings could not be trusted to freely obey God.

As God surveys the moral wreckage of the fall, he immediately begins to deliver judgment. He begins where the sin began – He starts with the serpent. Later he pronounced judgment to the woman and then to the man.

Let’s see what God spoke to the serpent: Genesis 3:14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.”

God passes judgment on the serpent for his part in the fall of humanity.

a. He is cursed above every other animal.

b. The serpent will crawl on his belly forever.

c. He will eat dust all the days of his life.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

1. THERE IS A PERMANENT CONFLICT.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers……
The key word is enmity, which means “hostility” or “animosity.”
If the devil thought that by deceiving the woman he had her in his side, he was greatly mistaken. Eve made a huge mistake but she would never join Satan’s party. She will never get along with Satan.

Seed means offspring. Usually when we talk about the seed we talk about a man. When we speak of offspring, we say this person is an offspring of so and so which is his dad. Why is it the seed of the woman here? I believe the Bible is talking about the first Christmas here and this verse is making a point of the virgin birth the savior will have. There is no male seed in the miraculous Holy Spirit pregnancy. It is the seed of the woman. Joseph was there but he was not the father of Jesus. If Jesus was the seed of a human being it is the seed of the woman. Now, God is telling that there will be permanent enmity between Jesus and Satan. It talks about the permanent conflict that God has with Satan, the conflict that the light of the world has with the ruler of the kingdom of darkness.

The “seed” or offspring has another meaning. Galatians 3:29 If you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. So if you are a child of God you are the seed of God and also the seed of Abraham. The seed here refers to the men and women of faith in every generation who believe in God. This seed is the godly line that starts from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, down to David and eventually culminates in the person of Jesus Christ. After Jesus Christ the seed is all those who believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the seed of the woman and when we accept Christ we become the seed of Jesus Christ.

Now, just like we are the seed of God, Satan has his seed too. Throughout history in every generation, in every country, in every city, in every village, in every tribe and in every family, Satan has had his people. The sinful seed started with Cain who killed Abel and continued to the wicked generation of Noah’s day, to the Pharaohs who opposed the Israelites and the Canaanites who mocked Joshua. It includes all the pagan people who came against the people of God.

Finally, when Jesus was born, Herod tried to kill Christmas. When He grew up, the Pharisees opposed Him and plotted to take His life. Satan even infiltrated His inner circle, filling the heart of Judas. When he was arrested, men stood in line to lie about him. When Pilate offered to release Jesus, the bloodthirsty crowd cried out for Barabbas instead.

Who was behind the crucifixion of Jesus? It was the sinister seed of Satan. The “seed of the woman” and the “seed of the serpent” have opposed each other continuously across the centuries. That struggle continues even today.

It is a permanent conflict until the second coming. We have a conflict with the devil. We do not agree with each other. We are in a war zone, a spiritual warfare and we need to be on our guard against the schemes of the devil. Let’s not be defeated or tempted like what he did to Eve.

2. THERE MAYBE A TEMPORARY DEFEAT.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. God then says that the woman’s seed (Jesus) will crush the head of the serpent. Then God says that the serpent will strike the heel of the woman’s offspring (Jesus).

This is speaking of Jesus being crucified by the serpent. When Christ died on the cross, Satan struck his heel. Where on his body were the nails forced into? His hands and his feet right through his heels. On Friday when they took the dead body of Jesus down from the cross, it appeared that Satan had won the battle.

Satan delivered a terrible blow to Jesus on Good Friday. No doubt he thought he had thrown a knockout punch on Jesus, but he was wrong. All he did was strike Jesus on the heel. As painful as it was, that suffering was nothing compared to the glory of the resurrection. On Sunday morning, the true Victor walked out of the grave, alive from the dead.

Now, since we are the children of God and the seed of Abraham by faith there are chances we maybe be temporarily struck in our heel.

Sometimes we are “wounded” by discouragement, criticism, anger, bitterness from our loved ones, dreams that never come true, goals that are not reached despite our best efforts. This verse reminds us that the Christian life is not a bed of roses. Not only is there continual conflict, but the bad guys win a fair number of the battles here. The evil one uses repetitive and excessive blows to break us down. Understand, satan if at all can only strike our heal. Today you maybe in pain, sickness, defeat; but hold on, do not worry, the final victory is ours. The Lord will win the battle for us. Good Friday may seem to be a defeat for us, but a glorious Sunday is coming our way.

We have a permanent conflict, we may face a temporary defeat…

3. WE HAVE AN EVENTUAL VICTORY.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. See the phrase: “crush your head.” Now Satan will strike the heel of Jesus but Jesus will crush the head of Satan.

We all know the difference between a head injury and a heel injury. Have you ever had a heel problem? If you’ve ever had a heel spur or pulled your Achilles’ tendon, you know how painful this can be. We normally don’t think about heels until we start having problems. But what happens then? We end up on crutches, take painkillers and perhaps have surgery. Heel trouble slows you down. But it doesn’t kill you. You can live with heel problems even through you have to hobble around. But no one survives a crushed head. At the cross Satan struck the heel of Jesus but in reality it was God’s deathblow against Satan. It was the payback for the fall. Victory belongs to the woman’s seed, Jesus Christ crushed the head of Satan and through Jesus you and I have victory over evil.

That leads to a question: If Satan has been crushed, why does he still seem to be doing so much evil now? We know that Satan is indeed alive and well on planet earth. How can a defeated being who was crushed by Christ exercise so much power? The answer is that at the Cross Satan was judged and his sentence pronounced. However, he is now free to roam the earth and is awaiting his final execution. This also explains why Satan’s destructive power on the earth will grow even greater in the last days because he knows his end is coming. In the end he will be destroyed and all those who follow him will be destroyed. We have an eventual victory.

We have a permanent conflict. There maybe a temporary defeat. We have an eventual victory.

POINTS TO PONDER:

1. Fight the good fight of faith.

Salvation is free, but no one gets a free ride to heaven. There are struggles in a Christian life. Don’t expect our faith to be wonderful all the time. We may face failures, problems, and difficulty. Apostle Paul uses for the Christian the image of a runner, of a boxer, of a wrestler, and of a soldier. Christian life isn’t easy; it’s hard work that demands our full commitment and dedication.

People think that Christian life is easy. People are looking for reward when they come to Christ. Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Our real reward is in heaven. Of course we will be rewarded here on earth, but that is just the icing of the cake but a greater reward awaits us in heaven. So, don’t run for reward. Until the day we die we have a battle against evil. Sometime we’ll win, other times we may lose. Do not run away from the battle when the going gets tough. Life maybe hard, times maybe difficult for you, the enemy maybe attacking you on every side. But hold on! Fight the good fight of faith, victory is coming our way.

2. There is no progress without pain.

Our victories will not come without wounds. If it pleased the Lord to bruise His own Son, how shall we escape the abrasions of life? Jesus said, “In this life you have trouble.” If Jesus suffered in doing the will of God, so will we. Friends, there is no victory without wounding, and there is no progress without pain.

When we are rejected, when we are targeted by people, when we are put down we identify ourselves with God. From a worldly point of view we maybe called a failure, but when God sees us, he sees progress in us. Our victories will not come without wounds but when wounded, God bind our wounds and promotes us.

3. Jesus is God’s plan of salvation.

God’s plan of salvation is wrapped in Jesus Christ.
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

I want you to notice the phrase, “between your offspring and hers.” The reference to “her offspring” is very interesting in human culture because the male is considered the one who has the seed. Children are normally referred to as the “offspring” of the father. Why does it say “her offspring” here? I think it is because this verse is predicting the virgin birth of Christ. When the Messiah was born, he was the “seed of the woman” because in His conception by the Holy Spirit, there was no male seed! He didn’t come in the usual way; he came by means of a miraculous virgin birth. God’s plan of salvation is wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ.

The day man committed sin God pronounced the first Christmas message that he is going to send his son, Jesus Christ into this world to take away the sins of the world. “Jesus” is the seed of the woman. Jesus came to overturn the curse of Genesis 3. Jesus Christ came and accomplished his mission for you and me.

CONCLUSION:

Let’s put our trust in Jesus Christ. He is God. He is the fulfillment of the law. If you have never had a chance of accepting Jesus as Lord in your life we would like to give you a chance to do so. If you already believe in Christ and is the going a through times, God wants to deliver you today. He wants to strengthen you today. Jesus was bruised and brought us healing! Jesus was pierced and eased our pain! Jesus was cursed, he brought was blessings. Jesus is God and is faithful to lead you. Amen.