Epic Christmas: Day 1
The Christmas Story found in the Gospel of Luke is read by millions every year. Even if you have never read the Bible, chances are you’ve heard Linus recite this passage during the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Luke 2 is the go-to Christmas story for families and churches throughout the world. But did you know that Jesus was mentioned well before the Christmas story? While the name, Jesus, doesn’t show up in our Bibles until the Gospel of Matthew, we find Him throughout the entire Old Testament.
Abraham walked with Jesus. David talks about Jesus. Isaiah prophesies about Him. But the first time we hear about Jesus is actually in the book of Genesis. Yes, Genesis. The very first book of the Bible.
What better way to begin our journey towards Christmas than with the very first mention of Jesus in the Bible. Genesis 3:15 gives us the first prophecy of Messiah.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. -Genesis 3:15
Where can we find Jesus in Genesis 3:15? God is speaking to the snake in this verse, and tells him (Satan) that there will be a great battle for mankind. This battle will come to a climax in one important event: The offspring of the snake will attack the Offspring of the woman. The woman’s Offspring is Jesus. Satan will strike the heel of Jesus. In other words, Satan will give a painful blow to Jesus, yet He will ultimately survive it (the cross). And through this act, Jesus will strike the head of Satan… A deathblow!
For years, I had read this verse and not realized what it meant.
Genesis 3:15 is known as the “First Gospel”. It comes right after Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit. God then hands down His punishment: The snake will be on his belly, women will have pain in childbirth, and men will work hard in labor. On top of that, Adam and Eve have to leave the Garden of Eden and sin has entered the world.
And right in the middle of all of this, we get the “First Gospel”. Let’s just let that sink in for a second. Right in the middle of God correcting His children and handing out judgment, He also gives the solution to the problem. Even when God has to correct us, He is already offering us Hope!
That’s the kind of God we serve. He is holy. He can have nothing to do with sin. But as soon as man had messed up, God was already launching His plan for redemption!
A Battle for Christmas
There is a lot of talk today about a “war” on Christmas. Yet, the battle for Christmas has nothing to do with red coffee cups or displaying the nativity on government property. The true war for Christmas came 2,000 years ago. Today, we create family traditions, decorate trees, and sing beautiful carols of angels and mangers. It’s a special time of year. But let’s take a moment to pause and recognize Christmas for what is really was: A spiritual offensive.
Christmas was an attack on the stronghold Satan had on this earth. Christmas was a mission with a dual purpose. The first objective: Search and Destroy. Defeat the power of sin and conquer death and hell. The second objective: A rescue operation. The Christmas story is a redemptive mission to rescue broken and hurting people who need a loving Savior.
On that first Christmas morning, there were no decorations. No family traditions. Christmas was not a holiday. Instead, it was the battle cry of God. Christmas was the D-Day of the Christian faith. And it all started on a silent night with a baby in a manger.
But maybe it wasn’t so silent, after all.
Something sinister was afoot.