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I read this week about a man who was a very
qualified TV meteorologist but did a terrible job at forecasting the
weather. He became something of a local joke when a newspaper began keeping
a record of his predictions and did a story that showed he had been wrong
almost 300 times in a single year. Because of the bad press, he was fired
from his job. He eventually moved to another part of the country and applied
for a similar job at another TV station. The job application asked him to
state his reason for leaving his previous position. Do you know how he
answered the question? This is what he wrote, “The climate didn’t agree with
While it is difficult, if not impossible for
any of us to forecast the future, the Bible is packed with predictive
Did you know that if you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of
Christmas in the Old Testament? Written over a 1,000-year period, the first
part of the Bible contains about 300 references to the Messiah that were
fulfilled in Christ. We don’t have time to look at each one of these, but we
will tackle 3 of them this month to help us understand who Jesus is and why
His coming is so important:
• The Seed (Genesis 3:15)
• The Lamb (Genesis 22:8-14)
• The Place (Micah 5:2)
Make sure you grasp the significance of predictive prophecy. Most of these
prophecies were written down more than 500 years before they were fulfilled
by Christ. This is no accident and is certainly not a coincidence.
In Lee Strobel’s excellent book, “The Case for Christ,” he points out that
the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in
one hundred million billion. That number is millions of times greater than
the total number of people who’ve ever walked on the planet! Strobel then
quotes mathematician Peter Stoner who calculated that the probability of
fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion,
trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion,
trillion, trillion, trillion! (Strobel, 246-7).
Friends, that gives us confidence that:
1. The Bible is inspired by God and is completely trustworthy. There is no
way that man could have made it up. The Old Testament points to the first
Christmas. The New Testament fulfills what the prophets of old were longing
2. Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be. These fulfilled prophecies give
solid confirmation of His credentials and show us that Jesus is God’s Son
who gave His life for us so that we can be forgiven and enjoy eternity in
Let’s begin by reading Genesis 3:15
This is the first promise given after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit
in the Garden of Eden. It’s also the first gospel sermon ever preached on
the face of the earth. Theologians call it the proto-evangelium, or “first
gospel.” These words spoken by God contain the earliest promise of
redemption in the Bible. Everything else in Scripture flows from this one
verse. As the acorn contains the mighty oak, so these words contain the
entire plan of salvation.
Some people discount the first eleven chapters of Genesis. They don’t think
it has anything to do with Christ. That’s not true. Jesus came to overturn
the curse of Genesis 3.
Although you may not see it at first glance, Christ is in this verse. He is
the ultimate Seed of the Woman who would one day come to crush the serpent’s
ugly head. In the process his “heel” would be bruised and his body would be
broken on the cross. In short, this verse predicts that Jesus would win the
victory over Satan but would Himself be wounded in the process.
Adam and Eve have just eaten the prohibited produce 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
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. He has shown the
whole universe that God’s great experiment would not work--that no race of
beings could ever be trusted to freely obey God. Left to themselves they
always disobey, even in paradise.
As God surveys the moral wreckage of the fall, he immediately begins to
deliver judgment. He begins where the sin began--with the serpent. Later he
will come to the woman and then to the man, but he speaks to the serpent
Although you may not realize it at first glance, this verse is not directed
at you and me, though it certainly applies to us. God is the speaker and the
serpent is the one being spoken to. In Genesis 3:14, God passes judgment on
the serpent for his part in the fall of humanity. First, he is cursed above
every other animal. Second, the serpent will crawl on his belly forever.
Third, he will eat dust all the days of his life.
Our text predicts that there will be a: 1. Permanent Conflict.
The key word is enmity, which means
“hostility” or “animosity.”
This is telling us that Eve and the serpent will never get along. If the
devil thought that by deceiving her he had her in his back pocket, he was
greatly mistaken. Eve made a huge mistake but she would never join the
serpent’s fan club.
The “seed” or offspring refers to the men and women of faith in every
generation who have believed in God. This is the godly line that leads to
Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon,
Ruth, David, Daniel, Esther, and eventually culminates in the person of
It’s obvious that Satan has his seed too. Throughout history in every
generation, in every country, in every city, in every village, in every
tribe and clan and even in many families, 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 Moses and the
Canaanites who mocked Joshua. It includes all the pagan peoples of antiquity
as represented by Goliath who laughed at David. Who was it that threw Daniel
in the lion’s den? The seed of Satan. Who hated the prophets and murdered
them in cold blood? The descendants of the devil.
Then we come to the days of Jesus. When he 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 with malignant evil. 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 today.
There will also be a:
2. Temporary Defeat.
God then says to the serpent, “bruise His
heel.” 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? You end up on crutches, taking
painkillers and perhaps having surgery. Heel trouble slows you down. But it
doesn’t kill you. You can live with heel problems even through you have to
In this life Satan sometimes wins the battle. Interestingly, according to
the WebMD web site, the most frequent causes of heel pain do no result from
a single injury, but by repetitive or excessive heel pounding.
Sometimes we are “wounded” by excessive discouragement, repetitive
criticism, unbridled anger, full-bore bitterness, or perhaps by cherished
plans that go astray, dreams that never come true, projects that never come
to fruition, goals that somehow are frustrated 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. The evil one uses repetitive and excessive blows to break us down.
There is another meaning, however. When Christ died on the cross, Satan
struck his heel. Where on his body were the nails pounded in? His hands and
his feet--right through his heels. On Friday about sundown, when they took
the dead body of Jesus down from the cross, it appeared that Satan had won
the battle. On Sunday morning, the true Victor walked out of the grave,
alive from the dead.
Satan delivered a terrible blow to Jesus on Good Friday. No doubt he thought
he had thrown a knockout punch. But he was wrong. All he did was strike
Jesus on the heel. As painful as it was, that suffering was nothing compared
to what Jesus did to Satan.
Permanent conflict, temporary defeat...
3. Eventual Victory.
“bruise thy head...”
Heel wounds are painful but they don’t kill
you. But no one survives a crushed head. The Cross was God’s deathblow
against Satan. It was the payback for the fall and more besides. Victory
belongs to the woman’s seed!
That leads to a question: If Satan has been crushed, why does he still seem
to be doing so much evil 2000 years later? 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 awaiting his final execution. This also explains why Satan’s
destructive power on the earth will grow even greater in the last days.
But in the end he will be destroyed and all those who follow him will be
1. The Christian life will always be a struggle. Struggle implies effort,
sweat, exertion, and difficulty. That’s why the apostle Paul uses the image
of a runner, of a boxer, of a wrestler, and of a soldier. The Christian life
isn’t easy; it’s hard work that demands your full commitment and the full
engagement of your soul.
Until the day we die we will struggle against temptation. Sometime we’ll
win, other times we’ll lose. But, we have to be in the fight. Unfortunately,
many believers have taken themselves out of the game.
We’re at war. Life is hard, times are difficult, and the enemy is attacking
on every side. Salvation is free, but no one gets a free ride to heaven.
Fight the good fight of faith!
2. 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? 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.
3. God’s plan of salvation is wrapped in a Person. Genesis 3:15 is the first
mention of Christmas in the entire Bible. You might have missed it because
the name “Jesus” isn’t in the text, but He is there nonetheless.
Imagine this verse as the top of a wide funnel. When the promise was given,
no one could have predicted the birth of a baby in Bethlehem. But what
started with the whole human race narrowed to just one individual--Jesus
I want you to notice the phrase, “thy seed and her seed” or, “your offspring
and hers.” The reference to “her seed” is very interesting in Hebrew 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 seed” or
“her offspring” here? I think its 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
When God wanted to save the world, he didn’t send a committee; he sent his
When God wanted to say, “I love you,” he wrapped his love note in swaddling
He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings peace!
He is God, He is faithful
I am His, and He is mine!
[based on excellent work by Brian Bill]
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