Luke 3:38. the son of Seth, the son of Adam
You’ve likely heard the story of Cain and Abel. The two sons of Adam and Eve each brought an offering to God. Cain brought “fruit” from the ground. Abel brought “the fat portions” of the “firstborn” lamb from his flock. Abel’s offering was accepted by God. Cain’s was not.
And you know the rest of the tragic story. Cain in his anger at God and jealousy toward Abel, murders his brother in the field.
And so we wait.
Advent means waiting. That’s what this season is all about, learning to wait on the Lord. He had promised Eve an offspring that would crush the serpent. Surely it was righteous Abel, wasn’t it? No. In fact, Abel was crushed by the “offspring” of the serpent – Cain.
But God always keeps his promise.
Genesis 4:25. And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.”
Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, was the answer to God’s redemptive plan. Seth, whose name means “granted,” or “appointed,” was granted by God to the world. Seth was appointed by God to restore the godly line of Abel whose blood cried out from the ground for justice. Seth will restore hope to a family, a people, a planet. Seth – the gift of God.
But an even better Seth was coming. Jesus, the son of Seth. Jesus, granted to the world for our salvation. Jesus, appointed unto death that we might live. Just as God’s salvation died in Abel, but was resurrected in Seth, so too God’s salvation would die and rise in Jesus Christ. Just as Eve, looking into the face of her third son, knew that evil and death would not win, we too look into the face of the Christ child this Christmas and we believe. We believe that God has not left us alone. We believe that God has not forsaken us. We know that God will not let Cain win. God will not let Abel die in vain. Salvation has come!
And now, in Christ, we too are appointed to eternal life and to the ministry of the gospel of grace. We too have been granted to the world as the world finds itself waiting. Like Seth, we are the offspring of love and grace. God’s millionth “second chance.” Like Seth’s family, we, the church, are a godly family of righteousness given to the world to declare the unconditional love of Christ. Is this how you see your life? Is your life in Christ a gift to the world? A beacon of hope? A message of mercy? A response to injustice?
May it be so this Christmas season and for as long as we wait for our Lord’s return.
Jesus was appointed to come and give his life for us, restoring a family for God. Are you part of that family? Have you been discouraged by all the “Cains” in your life? Do you see yourself as a “Seth” who can reflect the love and righteousness of Jesus in a dark world? Why or why not?