Since I am going to take a break for the rest of the month, I thought I’d use this Wednesday Wisdom to share a verse that has been coming at me from multiple angles this past week.
You might say, what an odd way to start the Advent season, but in reality, Advent started with this verse and continued for over millennia until Emmanuel made his entrance that holy night. Everything was good at creation—God said so, but when Adam and Eve gave in to the temptation to take a bite of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil everything changed.
Good was corrupted at the Fall.
Thus, the reason the first couple hid from God. They realized their shame, exemplified in their nakedness.
But God sought them out—He always does.
And in that moment, he showed both his justice and mercy. Justice, in that there were immediate consequences for their actions. From that moment on, they would have to work hard to survive, have pain in childbirth, and be thrust from the beautiful, good garden.
Yet, as he also cursed the serpent for his lead role in this tragedy, he also revealed the mercy that would come. Genesis 3:15 is what theologians call protoevangelium or the first gospel, and what I see as a prelude to the fullness of The Good News to come. I like the idea of calling it God’s teaser to the main event. While those who follow the prince of this world will try to pull down Jesus, The Offspring of Eve, it will be like a snip at his heel, because…
Her offspring will strike the head of Satan.
The moment Satan thinks he’s won, as Christ hangs on the cross, is made null and void by an empty tomb. This is God’s mercy and justice being met and made complete.
So, our celebration of Advent is so much more than a babe in a manger.
Yes, our celebration of the coming of Jesus is that he comes as the Christ, the Messiah, the Offspring, the Redeemer, the One who makes ALL THINGS NEW—Good, once again.
We have a foretaste of that in our lives through the Spirit, and we get glimpses as the Body of Christ comes together in worship, but in a sense, we’re still in the Advent stage, because we’re waiting on his coming once again for the final time when Genesis 3:15 will be made complete in the fullest of reality and we’ll live in the heavenly garden with the Father for eternity.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.1 Corinthians 13:12 CSB
Wishing you a new and deeper understanding of Emmanuel this Christmas season.
Grace and Peace