For a Christian, Christmas simply means celebrating the advents of Jesus the Christ. I pluralize advent simply because we celebrate His first and second coming. We remember the first and long for the second. Now, if you’re like me you don’t need a season to celebrate this event, but it’s a good time of year to dwell on the details.
If we contemplate and study our historical parents, Adam and Eve, we quickly uncover they celebrated and longed for Christ, the Savior’s advent too.
The familiar story of Adam and Eve seems tragic if we neglect Genesis 3:15 — the hope in anguish and descent. Genesis 3 records the fall of mankind. Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit (probably not an apple — thanks Uncle John Milton). Death then enters into the world and God promises Adam and Eve they will die. God curses the serpent, Adam, and Eve. Did they die on the spot? No. But they did die, suffering the penalty entered the world because of their sin. Since their fall, all sinners have died (although the effects of death removed from those who believe because we are resurrected to a new life). Genesis 3 describes the fall and curses placed on mankind.
But there is hope. Unexpected hope. Look at Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”In the context of curse, God provides hope. He tells Satan there is a seed coming that will conquer him and restore what was lost. Satan will merely injure him, but “He” will issue the greater blow.
Adam and Eve understand this promise reverses the curse. They begin to look for the seed. They look for the one who will restore creation and reconcile mankind. From this moment on, they look for the seed. Long before there was a Santa, trees, lights, and carols, there was raw Christmas, but it wasn’t called Christmas. It was “Lord, in your seed is hope!”
I wonder how many of us neglect to connect an important dot from Genesis 3 to 4? The moment Cain is born, Eve thinks he is the seed. Look at the text. “Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD” (Genesis 4:1). Now I admit, on the surface this doesn’t look like a connection. But remember, italics in the Bible means “not in the original text.” This means the translator added these words to iron out the translation to make sense to an English reader. So, read this sentence without the italics, “I have gotten a manchild, the Lord.” “Manchild” is in apposition to “the Lord” nuancing this man as what she thinks is the Lord, God in the flesh. Even the word “with” is a translation, and a fair one, but there is not Hebrew preposition there so still an interpretation.
Adam and Eve believed Cain was the seed who would right what went so wrong for them and restore the world. She celebrated Christmas. The plight would now end and restoration come to the world. They could now live in a world restored by the grace only provided by the Lord.
Yet we know Eve was wrong. Eve gave birth to another son, Abel. Cain, despondent over his sacrifice and jealous of his brother’s sacrifice killed Abel. Cain’s murder squandered Eve’s hope. Instead of being the One, he committed an atrocious sin by killing Abel. This changes Eve’s Christmas celebration causing her to long for the promised seed.
We know the seed will be blameless. Cain is another fallen sinful man like us. He is not the hope we need nor the restoration. Now Eve joins the long list of faithful generations who long to see the promised seed. We know Jesus is the seed. All she knew was the seed would come. But not yet. So she has to wait. She has to hope in God’s promise. Her faith in the promise now turns from reality seen to reality hoped for. We who know the story know God fulfilled His promise to mankind. Yet not yet.
But we can associate with Eve too, for we long for and rest in the promise of His return. The hope of the seed continues. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we’ll look at Lamech and Noah. Is Noah the seed? Lamech thought so.
* Part 2 can be found here.
** You can listen to the sermon related to this topic here.