“Live and in person” Advent devotion for November 29, 2020. Read Genesis 3:15 and Psalm 85.
The consequences of the first disobedience and fall into sin are immediate and varied. The man and the woman cover their nakedness, hide from the presence of God in the garden, and make excuses for their behavior. But the effects of sin will go much further, affecting families and relationships, what it means to work the ground to produce food, and making life finite. After all that, you will die. Or as God puts it, “to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:16-19).
Before all that, though, God addresses the serpent, whom John will identify as the devil and Satan in Revelation. He condemns the serpent saying, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock, and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go and dust you shall eat all the days of your life” (Genesis 3:14). God goes on to say, “I will put enmity between you and the woman.” In other words, you’re now the enemy. That hostility will span generations, “between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). One day an offspring, a descendant of the woman will step on the head of the enemy, an image of victory over an opponent.
One of the first things I do when I see a bug in the house is step on it. Problem solved. Well, most of the time. I once stepped on a wolf spider whose babies scattered in all different directions! It’s not always as easy as it seems.
A descendant of the woman, Jesus of Nazareth, stomped on the head of Satan and won a decisive victory over sin, death and the devil’s power. But it wasn’t easy. The Son of God, live and in person, experienced the same struggles of life that we do. When He showed up, it seemed like the demons came out of the woodwork like swarming insects (or arachnids). His ministry quickly took Him to the cross, a Good Friday death, and a Sunday resurrection that swallowed up death forever.
From “way back when,” God intended to come and take care of the problem Himself, live and in person. The eternal Word would indeed become flesh to not only live among us but overcome death for us, too.
A virtual doctor’s appointment might be able to prescribe something for your sore throat. But you’ll need the hands of a surgeon to take out those tonsils. Or a visit from a pest control person to really take care of those spiders. And a Savior, live and in person, to give us life.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing gospel promise wrapped up in Your condemnation of the serpent so long ago. Thank You for the fulfillment of that promise in the birth, life death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.