Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Promise of the Woman's Seed

Part 1 of B.C.: Before Christmas

Listen to this sermon.

The Protoevangelium 

“I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and between your offspring [seed] and her offspring [seed]; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15).

This prophecy is often called the protoevangelium, which means “first gospel.” In the midst of all of the bad news of Gen. 3 (the fall and the curse), God revealed good news.

Unfortunately, some of the gifts we give this Christmas will soon break (especially toys). And they will be thrown away.

When we became broken because of sin, God had a plan to restore us. 

Who are the serpent and the woman’s seed? (1) The serpent is Satan. Satan is called the “ancient serpent” in Rev. 12:9. (2) The woman’s seed is Christ. According to biology, a woman does not have a seed, so there is a hint of the virgin birth in Gen. 3:15. “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman” (Gal. 4:4).

The word “offspring” (or “seed”) can refer to one descendent or many descendents. Paul pointed out that God’s promise to Abraham regarding his “offspring” was fulfilled by one person: Christ. “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ” (Gal. 3:16). The same is true of God's promise in Gen. 3:15.

The woman’s offspring also refers to the children of God. Throughout history, there has been “enmity” (hostility) between the children (followers) of Satan and the children (followers) of God. This hostility was first demonstrated by Cain’s murder of his brother Abel, the first two children in Scripture (Gen. 4). 

Crushing the Head of the Serpent 

[Christ] himself likewise partook of [flesh and blood], that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil (Heb. 2:14).

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

Christ’s victory of Satan comes in two stages:

1. Satan’s doom was guaranteed by Christ’s death and resurrection. 

“The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it” (Rev. 12:4). Satan attempted many times to sue people to kill Jesus (e.g., King Herod). Finally, Satan succeeded when Jesus was crucified. He crushed His heel. But through the cross, Christ defeated sin and death and crushed Satan’s head (a fatal blow).

2. Satan’s doom will be completed by Christ’s second coming. 

We will join Christ in His victory. Paul writes, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom. 16:20).

Restoration Through Christ 

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

“So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live” (Num. 21:9). Why was Jesus pictured by a serpent on a pole? Because when He was on the cross He was made to be sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21).

Because Christ was broken for our sin, we can be restored.

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