14 The Lord God said to the serpent…15 “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.” ~ Gen 3:14-15He was afraid as he ran from tree to tree for cover. He had to move quietly or he would be heard. This place was so beautiful – magnificent, really – but it had become deadly. One false move and he would be found out. One snapped twig and he would be heard. His heart was racing. Panic was overtaking him. As he dragged her through the forest he knew that these were their last moments. Soon, if they were very lucky, they would be destroyed. He shuddered to think what the alternative was. And then he heard the heart-stopping voice, the one he dreaded: “Where are you? Adam, why do you hide?” As Adam stepped out, I wonder what he thought. I wonder if the shame of his rebellion was so unbearable that the only reasonable solution was to push it on to another. “This woman you gave me – she’s at fault, not me.” Like Adam, every Christian has come face to face with the terror of having offended a perfect and righteous Judge. This Judge is relentless and has the power to fully exercise his vengeance. There is no hiding from the One whose holy justice is so severe that the wicked will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Bury us!” The moment Adam and Eve took from the tree and ate, the grand story could have ended. God could have immediately brought the full weight of the punishment He promised: “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” But the story turns a different direction. It was in this moment of Adam and Eve’s complete failure and rebellion – when God’s justice demanded satisfaction – that God revealed Himself to not only be perfectly holy and just, but also infinitely kind and merciful. Rather than make good on His first promise of destruction, He gave them a new promise, the promise of a seed. This offspring would crush the head of the Deceiver, along with the sin, death, and despair he brought with him. Historically, theologians have referred to Genesis 3:14-15 as The Protoevangelion – the first good news. This is the first ray of hope after all of creation witnessed the horror of man's affront. Here we see that mercy and redemption are such a part of who God is that He cannot not be these things. We worship a God who loves to draw sinners back to Himself – to see prodigal sons return home. He loves changing the hearts of rebels and He promises that He will send someone who will accomplish it. It’s easy to fault Adam for wanting to shift his blame from himself to Eve. However, we often overlook the irony that while Adam was doing this in sin, we all must do it in faith if we are to be saved from ourselves and from God’s wrath. The search to find someone on whom Adam could rightly place his blame is a theme that would end up taking thousands of years to flesh out. And once this seed became flesh, he showed us what it meant that the seed would be bruised as He crushes the head of the serpent: He was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our sin. No longer will we need to push our blame to the person standing closest to us. Jesus will take the cup of our suffering and rebellion and He will drink it to the bottom. While God has all the right in the world to call us enemies and to demand that we pay back every last offense, He has chosen instead to call us sons and daughters. He has taken the burden of our guilt upon Himself and will forever be praised as the God who enters into our suffering and despair – because that's who He is.
The Promised Seed, A Foundation For Hope