From the Beginning

Their mouths are still sticky from the fruit when God goes for a walk in the garden.

They hide behind leaves, leaving behind friendship with their Creator in exchange for deception.

What was good and pure and holy moments ago is now a source of shame.

“He’s coming! Hurry! Hide!”

“Adam, where are you?”

“Stay quiet. Maybe He won’t see us.”

“Adam, come out.”

They slowly step out from the maze of trees, the man made from dust and the woman made from his side. Space now between them.

“I heard you coming and I hid because I was afraid and naked.”

“Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat the fruit I told you not to touch?”

The man glances over at the one sculpted from his own flesh and bone. “This woman you gave me. She told me to eat it.”

She dips her head, letting her hair curtain her face.

God turns to her. “What did you do, Eve?”

“That serpent tricked me.”

The serpent lurks in the shadows, his eyes gleaming.

God sees him and says, “Because you did this, you are more cursed than any other creature. For as long as you live, you will slide on the ground, eating dust. I’m putting hostility between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

***

The first chapter of the true story of the world is beautiful. Breathe deeply and you can smell the sweetness of the flowers. Listen carefully and you can hear a brook trickling through the garden. Tilt your head and feel the warmth of the afternoon sun on your face. Taste the pure, clean air.

Then turn the page. Feel the chill race down your spine as the serpent wraps himself around the tree. Let your nose burn as you inhale the aroma of the freshly-bitten fruit. Feel your eyes open wide as you realize your humanity. Feel shame flood your face as you realize God is coming.

The story is now stained with sin. Darkened by deception. Hiding and lies are a part of the plot, and the earth is cursed.

But notice.

Even in the curse, there is a promise.

He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.

It’s called the Protoevangelium: The First Gospel. The first time we learn that rescue will come.

Eve’s offspring will crush Satan. It will be a painful, long journey, but He will come to overcome evil. Thousands of years will drag on as the consequences of that garden choice spiral deeper and deeper into darkness.

But then, after centuries of prophets declaring this is not the end, Eve’s consequence is lived out in the body of a young woman. With great pain, a baby is born.

In a small town, in a room where animals sleep, the Offspring breathes for the first time. His tiny heart beats wildly and color fills His face as His skin meets the chill of the outside world.

They wrap him tightly in strips of cloth and they lay him in a feeding trough because there’s nowhere clean for them to go.

The baby gradually falls asleep.

The enemy lurks in the shadows, but the promise will not be broken.

Every scraped knee the baby will feel as he grows, every bloody nose, every time a bully taunts, the promise remains.

And then one day, it will look like the curse wins, like the serpent’s offspring has crushed the woman’s offspring for good.

They strike him and spit on him. They strip his clothes from him, and a crown of thorns crushes his head.

“If you were really God, he would save Yourself!”

“Let’s see what kind of King you are now!”

“Don’t you have angels who could come down to help you?”

Then they stretch his arms across wooden beams and drive nails into His hands to hold Him in place.

They raise the cross.

His heart breaks.

He dies.

For 3 days, He is lifeless. Cold. Unmoving.

Then…

Life pumps through His veins, His heart beats, and He crushes the enemy’s head.

The promise wins.

Way back in the garden, we had a taste of what would come.

Now death, shame, and fear are defeated.

Through one man, death entered into the world. Through another, life.

Through one woman, pain entered the world. Through another, the promise.

His name is Jesus.

Come out of hiding and come to the One who paid the price your sin demanded. He gave His life so we would never have to experience death or be forever separated from Him.

When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned…Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come.

But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.

And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.” – Romans 5:12-19

This was the promise from the beginning.

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