Then the Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
groveling in the dust as long as you live.
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
Genesis 3:14-15 New Living Translation
As Christmas approaches, it’s important to remember why God came to live among us as a vulnerable baby who would eventually suffer the grueling death of crucifixion. The plan for the arrival of Jesus had been foretold at the beginning of time. Because of the Fall, God needed to set things back in order and He needed to undo the work of Satan symbolized by the presence of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
We often describe the battle between good and evil as a battle between God and Satan. In reality, though, it is a battle between humanity and Satan. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they turned their authority as stewards of creation over to Satan. In His response, God made it clear that the restoration of humanity to a life-giving relationship with Him was His priority. To protect humanity, God created hostility between the descendants of the serpent and the descendants of Eve. He also proclaimed that one day a descendant of Eve would come who would break the power of Satan over the created world once and for all. That promised descendant is Jesus.
As we look at the world around us, it can be hard to comprehend how the world can be so beautiful and tragic at the same time. Through movies like The Lord Of The Rings, we see the natural beauty of the islands of New Zealand. Yet, today (12/9/2019), we also see the tragedy of a broken world as one of the islands’ volcanos erupts, causing death and injury to many tourists visiting the island. God created a wonderful world and Satan wants nothing more than to destroy that beauty and us in the process. Through Jesus entering the storyline of human history, God brought about a key moment in the history when the one who would crush the head of the serpent and take away His power would enter our world to live among us. He then invites us to live as part of His great trans-cultural community that works toward the restoration of His world until the final act of restoration comes at the return of Christ.
God, thank you that you had a plan from the beginning to set things right in your created world. We want to be part of the community that works with you in bringing things back into order.