This is a story of Redemption. And it goes all the way back to The Garden.
When man falls short and creates a huge gap between God and His children,
and when God announces His plan and promise to redeem His children,
and someday bridge the gap once again.
He gives hope, and begins making the Way.
Genesis 3:11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
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.”
- I found it fascinating that God’s first question was “Who told you that you were naked?” His first reaction was one of heartbreak was over innocence lost and the impending separation that was about to come. His reaction was not one of condemnation. And it was one of anger towards whoever was responsible for manipulating His words and leading His children astray.
- His second question was “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” I love how God never accuses. He never says, “You disobeyed me!” or “You doubted me!” or “You are making excuses.” (Even though they did.) He simply asked, “Did you do what I asked you not to do?” and let his children speak for themselves.
- The only person God spoke to directly after Adam & Eve each gave their answers was the serpent, who was also the only one He cursed and cast judgement upon. The text never mentioned the serpent responding to God.
It is so inspiring to take a look at the very first sin, and see how God responded. So many of us have this idea of God’s reaction to our sin in our heads, as an accusing and condemning God. But He is truly none of those things to His children. Reading about His response to the first sin helps make how he feels about us, even at our worst, so clear. And it is beautiful.
“No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed.”
– Matthew Henry
The tragic part of this story is that while, the way God viewed His children never changed, there had to be separation. At least for a time. This excerpt from the SheReadsTruth devotional says it so well:
He loves us, oh, how He loves us.
And He is holy, oh, so holy.
And as long as we, His beloved, are wearing a cloak of fig leaves and sin, we cannot be in His presence.
“For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” – 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, ESV
We must put on immortality.
But we cannot do that.
I cannot do that.
God knew this. He knew we needed the Second Adam—He knew we needed a Savior. “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven… Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:47, 49, ESV)
Do you hear that glorious promise? God’s words in the Garden that day were not (just) about revenge on the serpent who deceived His sons and daughters. It was a promise of the Second Adam, the One who would take on humanity (“I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers”), suffer and die (“you will strike his heel”), and deliver death its fatal blow (“he will crush your head”). (Genesis 3:5)
God’s promise in the Garden was our redemption through Jesus Christ. It is better than a do-over, more merciful than a second chance. In fact, it is not our doing at all. Jesus is the Second Adam who does what we ought to have done, then invites us to partake in the blessings of His obedience. There in the Garden, the Father commits the perfect life of His Son to the recovery of our freedom, the covering of all our shame, and the defeat of fear and death.
All the way back at the beginning, at the scene of that very first sin,
when His children were at their worst, and humanity was lost,
God promised He would make a Way to defeat death & bring His children back.
That Way was Jesus Christ, and He was born on Christmas Day.