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.
I love hero movies. Avengers. Batman. Spiderman. Even if you don’t love comic book heroes, you probably love a movie about a hero. Everyone does. Why? Because deep inside we all know that we need a hero. We need someone to come and rescue us from evil, from danger, from ourselves.
Genesis 3:15 is God’s promise of that hero.
When the worst thing in human history happened what was God’s response? When evil, chaos, and corruption invaded creation through Adam and Eve’s sinful choice, what did God do? He gave us what theologians call the protoevangelium. Or the “first gospel.” He promised us that he wouldn’t just let us die. That he would pursue us and save us. That he would destroy evil and death even at great cost to himself.
Genesis 3:15 is God’s first promise of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the bruiser of the serpent’s head – Jesus’ resurrection will deal the fatal blow to all that the serpent represents. Jesus’ life is the death of death. The beginning of the end for the serpent, Satan. And it’s the beginning of life for us. Life without guilt, fear, or shame.
Jesus, the one whose heel will be bruised – But our shared resurrection life with Jesus will come at the cost of great harm to Jesus himself. Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion, his shame and guilt bearing on the tree, are his “crushed heel.” Like all great heroes, he took the fatal blow for us, but then rose to defeat it by the power of God.
Jesus, the offspring of the woman – God does not promise to send an angel to rescue us. Nor will he simply snap his fingers and destroy the serpent instantly. None of that would do. Humanity must be rescued by a human. Our hero must be one of us. Why? Because our sin debt will require a substitute. Someone to take our place. And only a human could substitute for humanity. Only a human could pay for human sin. Only an image bearer could restore the image of God in us.
The death and resurrection of Batman.
But we still have a couple problems. First, how could a person defeat evil when evil is now woven into humanity? And second, how can a human sacrificially forgive humanity? You see forgiveness only works when the offended party agrees to sacrificially pay the penalty or debt of the offender. But the humans in the garden didn’t just sin against humanity, they sinned against God. Their rebellion left them owing God their lives. Therefore, only God is powerful and pure enough to conquer sin and death, and only God could forgive humanity’s debt by paying for it himself. Anything else would be unjust. Anything else would be impossible.
Only a human can pay our sin debt, and only God can pay our sin debt. This is the hero we need. A hero that is not only human, but divine. We need a God-man to restore our human nature by sharing with us his divine nature. And that is exactly who God sent. Himself.
Galatians 4:4-5. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
“To live is Christ” means humanity’s son-ship is restored. Our debt is paid. Our sin forgiven. Our hero has done it. In allowing himself to be bruised for us, he has bruised the evil one. The fatal blow has been dealt. And as our serpent-enemy faces certain death, we the sons and daughters of God face certain life. Life forever with our hero, Jesus.
What does it mean that you need a hero today and every day?
You in Christ
Christ’s victory over the life stealing serpent is your victory over him too. How can you celebrate your co-victory with Christ today?
Christ in you
If the hero lives in you what does that mean for you today?
This gets the blood pumping.