He's history's most famous person, but so many people don't know the full story.
The serpent will bite his heel, and he will crush his head.
In the very beginning of the Bible, we see Adam and Eve living with God in the garden of Eden. But the humans are quickly led to rebellion by a snake who persuaded Adam and Eve to rebel against God’s commands.
This rebellion led to shame and separation from humanity’s Eden-ideal. But in this story, we see God make one of his first promises in the Bible. It’s a rescue plan to restore humanity back to their place in the garden. God promises that the seed of the woman would one day rise up against the snake to crush its head. But the snake would strike the heel of the snake crusher. It’s a confusing promise, left with no further explanation until later in the story, when God makes another promise to a man named Abraham.
God promises Abraham that through his descendants, all nations will experience blessing. And God promises to one of these descendants, a man named Judah, that a great king would come from his line. This king will be the one who destroys the snake and fulfills the promise God made to Abraham.
But one by one, the kings of Israel fall short of destroying the snake and restoring humanity. In fact, they end up following the same patterns of rebellion against God. When the Hebrew Bible comes to its close, the promised king has still not arrived.
The Messiah, the Snake Crusher
So what does Messiah mean? For the Israelites, the Messiah referred to this promised king who would defeat evil and restore humanity to the Eden ideal. When Jesus arrived on the scene, a son from the line of David and Judah, he said he came to usher in God’s Kingdom. He was the king the people had been waiting for. But in his mission to destroy human evil, he himself was destroyed—killed on a cross by the very people he came to save.
Jesus’ death was not the end of the story.
Jesus’ death fulfilled the promise that God made all the way back in the garden of Eden. Evil had struck the Messiah’s heel, but the Messiah still defeated evil, atoning for the sins of all humanity. When Jesus rose from death, he asserted his ultimate authority over death and evil, dealing the snake a fatal blow.
To understand sacrifice, we must understand evil.
Despite the fact that most humans long to live in a world where goodness and justice prevail, something always compels us to wreak havoc and destruction—we call this evil. Evil ruins relationships, with each other and with God. And for those relationships to be made whole again, we must set right what evil has destroyed.
Writing a new story...
To be made whole, or to be saved, is to submit to God and His plan and Lordship for our lives. It is a turning from our old ways and turning to Jesus. When we ask him to forgive our sins, He gives us new life.
Romans 10:9 says: “If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Salvation is God’s free gift to us and we become His children.
It is an irrevocable acceptance into the family of God and it is an empowerment to live life wholly and fully with the purpose of reflecting God to the rest of His creation.
If you are not sure whether you are right with God or you know in fact that you need Jesus in your life, you can choose to follow Him right now by praying a prayer of surrender to Him.
Dear God, I’m praying this prayer because I know that I have done wrong by living without You. I am sorry and I trust that You will forgive me. I accept Your love and grace for me and ask that You would be my Lord. Help me believe in You and love You every day, and help me to show the world what You are like and how great Your love is. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Where to start.
How To Read The Bible
The Spirit is God’s personal presence. The Spirit is a person and not merely a force. But when we start on page one of the Bible, before creation began, we see a depiction of the Spirit of God hovering over the dark, disordered waters of the Earth.
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