The First Christmas Message (Genesis 3:15)

The first Christmas wasn’t celebrated until at least 300 years after the birth of Christ, but the first Christmas message was preached at least four thousand years before the birth of Christ. The first Christmas message ever was preached by God the Creator Himself. The whole human race (Adam and Eve) along with Satan was the congregation. The Garden of Eden was the sanctuary. Where is this first Christmas message recorded? In the 3rd chapter of the Bible, Genesis 3. In this text we see three important aspects of Christ’s birth. The reason for Christ’s birth, the revelation of Christ’s birth and the result of Christ’s birth are each spelled out in Genesis 3:15. This verse occurs in the midst of the curse that is being pronounced by God upon Adam and Eve. After Adam passes the blame to Eve and Eve to the Serpent, God addresses the Serpent for that is who His quarel is with ultimately. This verse has been called by theologians the protoevangelion (first gospel). It was the first Christmas message!

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

In this verse we first see . . .
I. The Reason for Christ’s Birth.
The birth of Jesus Christ and therefore the Christmas holiday itself would be completely unnecessary were it not for sin. Jesus is the reason for the season. But ultimately sin is the reason for the season. The sin of mankind is the black backdrop against which the glorious first Christmas message was given. We can never understand fully the glory of the Christmas message until we understand the depths of mankind’s sin. As Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said:

Few preachers of religion do believe thoroughly the doctrine of the Fall, or else they think that when Adam fell down he broke his little finger, and did not break his neck and ruin his race.

No, Adam’s fall did ruin the human race and because of our sin we need a Savior!!!

Secondly in this text we see . . .
II. The Revelation of Christ’s Birth.
Here in Genesis 3:15 the unusual circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus are revealed. He is called “her seed”. The seed of a woman is an unusual way to describe a child. Normally we would think of the seed coming from the male. But this birth was going to be different. Of course this could simply refer to the fact that the Christ would descend from a woman, but later revelation spells out in more detail the implications of this promise that appeared in “seed” form (pun intended) in Genesis 3:15. For example:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

If there was any doubt about this prophecy applying to Christ, Matthew clarifies it in Matthew 1:18-25,

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. (19) Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. (20) But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (21) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, (23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (24) Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: (25) And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago as the unique “seed of the woman” who was “born of a virgin” who came as God’s deliverer to defeat the Serpent himself.

Finally in this text we see . . .
III. The Result of Christ’s Birth
God has invaded this planet to join battle against His ancient foe, Satan. That’s what we’re celebrating, not just a baby in a manger. But the King of all creation who humbled Himself and became a helpless baby and grew up to be the man who conquered death, hell and the grave.

Even as a helpless baby, Satan couldn’t stop Him! He tried to destroy Him through Herod, but he was unsuccessful.

Jesus Christ was born on purpose for a purpose and that purpose was to crush Satan’s head! On the cross, Christ destroyed sin, death and Satan! Note the parallels in this verse to the gospel accounts:

The seed of the woman = virgin birth
bruised heel = minor wound (temporary)
bruised head = mortal wound (permanent)

The picture is of a champion taking his heel and grinding the head of the serpent to destroy it. The heel of the champion would be temporarily wounded, but the serpent would be destroyed. This is exactly what Christ did upon Calvary. His heel was wounded, he suffered temporarily upon the cross. But His suffering upon the cross was the means by which the head of Satan was crushed and his works destroyed forever. Read the words afresh of Hebrews 2:14-15 and 1 John 3:8,

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Richard Halverson explains why Christ did not just stay alive and eliminate each generations evils and diseases:

Why did Jesus Christ not remain alive and eliminate, generation by generation, all the evils which harass humanity? Simply because He was the Great Physician, and in the finest tradition of medical science, He was unwilling to remain preoccupied with the symptoms when He could destroy the disease. Jesus Christ was unwilling to settle for anything less than elimination of the cause of all evil in history.
Relevance. Christianity Today, Vol. 38, no. 2.

Jesus dealt with the root cause of sin, suffering and death when He defeated Satan on the cross! This is the true reason for the season: the destruction of sin and death by the destruction of the ancient Serpent!

The great modern epics of Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings have nothing on this story. This is the true story of the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness from which all the other stories receive their inspiration. It is indeed “good news”! Merry Christmas!

5 comments

  1. This is very good Steve. Definitely better than Star Wars.

    And I think LOTR’s Author mighthave understood a thing or two about redemption, I hope so anyway.

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