A Four-Thousand-Year-Old Promise Fulfilled
Nena Arias | December 22, 2017
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year when families make it a point to come together and endeavor to spend as much quality time as they can.
They work hard to make as many meaningful memories as possible. It doesn’t always turn out as people wish but they keep doing it every year in hopes that it will get better.
The results are not the desired ones because, in my view, most families leave out the most important reason for the celebration, they leave out Jesus, the Savior of the world come to earth and how God fulfilled a four thousand year old promise by this great event. So you see, it hurts when people’s Christmas celebration is all about them, for the most part.
Please don’t get me wrong. I also love the festivities. Seeing all the lights and beautiful decorations, taking in family time with food and fun is all fine and good. But the best thing for me is that at Christmas time most of the world pauses to recognize that something happened in history that impacted the world and the entire human race. Whether they realize it or not, or whether they only take it as a holiday for time off from their work, it still doesn’t change the fact that this time is set aside to acknowledge that some kind of impact happened in the human chain of events and the calendar marked it.
According to the Bible, the earth is approximately six thousand years old. This means that Adam and Eve, the first humans ever created, walked on the earth at that time. We know that their disobedience to God’s only command to not eat of the forbidden fruit brought severe consequences to the whole earth and the entire human race since then. But God knew already what he was going to do to redeem what was lost and he announced it right away by making a promise that is recorded in:
Genesis 3:15, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
God made known the gospel of the Good News of salvation from the very beginning after the fall of Adam and Eve. Then he reiterated the coming of this deliverer from God in Daniel 2:31-35 and then to the prophet Isaiah 9:6-7; chapter 53 of Isaiah prophecies the crucifixion and how Jesus was going to redeem us. He revealed him as the stone not cut by human hands in the following passage where Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2:31-35:
“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
The coming of the Messiah was revealed to Isaiah in this way:
For to us a child is born to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
For details on the prophecy of the Messiah’s act of redemption for the human race close to 800 years prior read Isaiah 53.
Back to Gen. 3:15, with the promise of our deliverer—the coming of Jesus to earth in the flesh is something God had already worked out even before time began.
When Gen. 3:15 refers to “he” as the offspring of the woman it is in reference to a male member of the human race, not of human conception. The Holy Spirit would conceive him and he would come to deliver a fatal blow to the head of the serpent/devil and redeem all that was lost through disobedience, although the devil would wound his heel. Some Bible translations say “seed” of the woman. It is not possible that the promised Messiah would have any human intervention in his conception because then he would inherit the original sin. This Messiah had to be pure and sinless in order to fulfill God’s requirements for redemption.
In spite of human disobedience, God was already showing mercy and grace with a promise of redemption in due time. However, the consequences of sin did impact the human race and we needed a Savior.
This is what Romans 5:12-21 records:
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The coming of Jesus Christ to earth almost 2,000 years ago was the faithfulness of God in fulfilling a promise which he had delivered four thousand years prior because God always honors his Word and he has long range plans for everything he does.
So this Christmas do not live it superficially, take time to reflect on the faithfulness of God and live with faithfulness in your heart toward him.
With this in mind, let me say MERRY CHRISTMAS!