These words, taken from the opening pages of the Bible, are the first dawning of the light of the Gospel over the earth. From the early 2nd century, these epochal words have been called the ‘Protoevangelium’, or the First Gospel. Here in a short, cryptic sentence God is revealing his plan of redemption for the world.
Notice that immediately after our first parents had eaten the forbidden fruit and plunged humanity into the death throes of sin, God comes proclaiming our salvation. Even as he is pronouncing judgment on sin, God is promising redemption through the offspring of a woman. This is the first prophecy of salvation through a particular offspring of the woman. The rest of the Old Testament will anticipate the coming of the woman’s offspring into the world. The New Testament will herald his coming, and his coming will mean the salvation of Adam’s race.
In these few words God is revealing the trajectory of salvation and the “enmity” that will grow between the powers of good and evil. We see this enmity as the offspring of the woman is caught up in bitter struggle with the serpent. Yes, the serpent will “bruise” the offspring’s “heel,” but a bruise to the heel is not fatal. The offspring of the woman will “bruise” the serpent’s “head,” and the wound will be fatal and final.
In prophetic imagery the Lord is declaring at history’s dawning that on the cross Jesus will draw the sting of evil, but in that bruising he will triumph for all of Adam’s race. God is not leaving the outcome in doubt! God is choosing sides in our battle against sin and death!
The American churchman, Sam Shoemaker (1893-1963) once asked the question “What do you think God told Jesus that holy night that he sent him down to earth?” Shoemakers says that the Father might have said, “Son, don’t complicate it with big words, but make it simple. Just tell the people on earth how much I love them!”
Soaking in Scripture…
Today’s Andy Moments…