“I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15). 

Genesis 3:15 is the first mention of the gospel in the Bible. You might have missed it because the name Jesus isn’t in the text, but he is there nonetheless. Jesus is the ultimate “seed of the woman” who would one day make his entrance into this world in a most unlikely fashion.

If it pleased the Lord to bruise his own Son, how shall we escape the wounds of life? If Jesus suffered in doing the will of God, so will we. At the Cross Satan struck a blow and wounded Christ in his heel. And even after his resurrection his body bore the marks of his suffering.

The same will be true for us. You will struggle hard in this life and in struggling, you will be wounded. But do not despair that life is hard for you. Be thankful and struggle on! If you feel like running away from your struggles, remember that there is nowhere to run. If you leave the battlefield today, you will wake up to find yourself on another battlefield tomorrow. So you might as well stand and fight. 

Phillips Brooks reminds us of the true cost of victoryHe is a foolish dreamer who expects an easy and bloodless victory for any noble plan. But yet, success waits before every good cause if it can only persevere and struggle on with its wounded heel.”

There is no victory without wounding, no progress without pain. The flowers of our Memorial Days are always laid on graves. This truth keeps us humble because even when we finally win, we know that we had to shed our own blood to gain the victory. That truth keeps us from boasting too much.  

We are now only a few days from Holy Week. In our Lenten journey we are invited to walk with our Lord as he goes to the cross. If he was despised and rejected, we should not be surprised when that happens to us too. Lent takes to the Cross where Christ died for us. You cannot bypass Golgotha if you would be a true disciple of Christ.  

Take up your cross, weary warrior,and keep walking on the “Jesus Road." 

Lord of Hosts, you triumphed over the devil, having defeated him at the cross, at the cost of your own life. You are the Victor in the Battle of the Ages! So give us strength to keep going and never to turn back. Amen. 

You can reach the author at ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.