January 22, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“’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’ . . . The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. ”—Genesis 3:15–21 (NIV)
So, what happened in the aftermath of Adam and Eve’s fall? After eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, immediately their eyes were open to evil. In that moment, Adam and Eve died just as God had said: “for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17 NIV). Only their death wasn’t immediately physical, it was spiritual. The moment Adam and Eve ate of the tree, they, along with everything in creation, began to physically die because they brought decay and death into the world. But the more immediate effect of Adam and Eve’s sin, as one scholar wrote, produced an “alienation and enmity towards God, or, in other words, a moral separation between the sinner and God, which is spiritual death.” But it didn’t stop with them . . .
The sin of Adam and Eve infected every single person in human history. Because they no longer had spiritual life, they couldn’t pass it on to future generations. Every child born since then has been born spiritually dead, separated from God—except for One. Thus, if we’re born spiritually dead, once physical death has occurred, it becomes a permanent death with no chance for reconciliation. And it was in this, the most tragic moment of human history, where we see the first step of God’s amazing plan of salvation revealed. Although Adam and Eve had sinned and were judged, God promised this wouldn’t be the end of the line. With the coming of death, there came the promise of life.
In Genesis 3, God explains how it will all go down: Women will experience pain and labor as they bring new life into the world (Genesis 3:16), but new life will come. Men will toil and sweat in order to live (Genesis 3:18–19), but they will live.
And then, God gives us a preview of how He’s going to fulfill this promise of life. First, in Genesis 3:15 (NIV), God tells the serpent, “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.” Then in Genesis 3:21 (NIV), we’re told “God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
You see, in order for God to clothe Adam and Eve and cover their shame, He had to kill an animal, to shed its blood. Why did He need to do that? Because the cost of our sin and shame is death, “and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22 NIV).
The story of Christmas is the moment when God’s promise of life and ultimate act of covering our shame became reality. How?
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons”—Galatians 4:4–5 (ESV)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ”—Ephesians 2:4–5 (ESV)
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”—2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
By dying on the cross for our sins, a toil greater than anything Adam or any man could ever go through, He not only crushed the head of the serpent (Satan), thereby fulfilling the promise to Eve, but He covered our sin and shame, clothed us in His righteousness, and restored what was lost and broken in the garden all those years ago. Even though Adam and Eve’s sin sent the world into turmoil and tribulation, causing us all to lay restless “in sin and error pining,” Christmas signals that to all that “yonder breaks a new and glorious morn,” that hope and freedom and peace with God has come to all who would receive it!
Pause: What do God’s promises to Adam and Eve show you about the His character?
Practice: Find someone this week that is discouraged or having a hard time and remind them that God is on their side and has been from the beginning.
Pray: Dear God, thank You the story of Christmas is a reminder that You are faithful, that You love me, and that You did not leave me broken and lost in sin. Thank You for the promises You made and fulfilled through Christ. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.