June 16, 2017
The Tree of Life
By Skip Heitzig
Do you ever look around at this world and wonder how we got into this mess? Some of us like to blame all our problems on the Democrats or the Republicans or a political agenda. But the truth is that our problems go much deeper and further back than that—all the way back to the garden of Eden.
It would be great if we could just open the Bible and read that after God created Adam and Eve, they all lived happily ever after. But that's not what happened. In Genesis 3, the entire course of history changed. A character called the Serpent—who was the Devil (see Revelation 12:9)—slithered along and immediately went to work on Eve and then Adam to disrupt God's creation.
You probably know the story: the Serpent twisted God's words and deceived Eve, and she and Adam disobeyed the Lord by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (see Genesis 3:6). And thus sin entered the world.
This was the darkest day in human history. Every bad thing that has happened after this moment can be traced back here. When Adam sinned, he acted as the representative and federal head for all of humanity, introducing into the bloodstream of every human the sin virus. This virus is far worse than any virus known to man; it's absolutely fatal, and it separates people from God forever.
But here's the deal: everything Adam messed up, Jesus came to fix. And this rescue operation was planned from the very beginning. After the fall, we read that "the Lord God said to the serpent [Satan]: 'Because you have done this…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel'" (Genesis 3:14-15).
In other words, the woman and the Serpent would have continued enmity, but her offspring, the Seed, would crush his head. Friends, this is the first messianic prophesy in the Bible: the Seed refers to Jesus Christ.
If I told you I was going to crush your head, and if you believed I meant what I said, you would probably either try to get away from me or try to counteract my threat. Well, that's the lens through which we see the Bible unfold from this point forward: the first attempt of Satan to destroy the Seed is in the very next chapter, when Cain killed Abel, the righteous son. This pattern continues throughout Scripture: King Saul tried to kill David; Haman attempted to exterminate the Jews; Herod had all the babies in Bethlehem killed. Even during Jesus' ministry, the people in the synagogue at Nazareth attempted to throw Him over the brow of a hill. If only Satan could have succeeded in exterminating Christ—but he couldn't! Yes, Jesus was crucified, but death couldn't hold Him down. Satan bruised Jesus' heel, but Jesus in turn crushed Satan's head.
Maybe you're thinking, Well, we still get a rotten deal! Adam blew it, and the whole world is messed up because of him. He should have instead gone for the Tree of Life to begin with. Okay, try applying that way of thinking to yourself. Yes, the world is a messed up place because of the fall, but through Jesus Christ, God has provided redemption—and that's been His plan from the beginning (see Revelation 13:8). He offers you a Tree of Life—the cross of Jesus Christ. Will you choose it?
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