“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed” (Genesis 3:15).
This is the first promise given after the Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Theologians call it the protoevangelium–or first gospel because these words spoken by God contain the first promise of redemption in the Bible. Everything else in the Bible flows from these words in Genesis 3:15. As the acorn contains the mighty oak, so these words contain the entire plan of salvation. The great English preacher Charles Simeon called this verse “the sum and summary of the whole Bible.”
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 on the cross. In short, this verse predicts that Jesus would win the victory over the Satan but would himself be wounded as the same time.
When Charles Wesley wrote the familiar carol “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” he included a verse based on Genesis 3:15. Modern hymnals often omit this verse, which is unfortunate since it contains excellent theology:
Come, Desire of Nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home.
Rise the woman’s conquering Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Adam’s likeness now efface, Stamp Thine image in its place,
Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy love,
Hark, the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.
As we begin our Lenten journey, let’s remember that Christ came in fulfillment of a promise made amid the wreckage caused by Adam’s sin. Our sin may be great, but as the promise is greater than the transgression, through Christ’s great sacrifice we have been set free.
Lord Jesus, with your own blood you kept the promise God made. Glory to you, our Savior and King. Amen.