The earliest reference to the Christmas Revolution is found… in Genesis?
Created in the image of God, Adam and Eve were given an entire world to rule, shape, and nurture (Genesis 1:26). Later identified as Satan (Revelation 20:2), the serpent deceived the couple into abandoning God’s rule in their lives, embracing self-rule as a superior lifestyle (Genesis 3:1-6). The consequences were awful and immediate for our first parents–and for you and me.
God cursed the serpent and the earth, withdrawing His presence (Genesis 3:14, 17; Romans 8:20-21). The creation that was ours to rule became the legal property of Satan. That’s why we have to contend with disease, disasters, despots, and death: we are living in a kingdom of darkness at this very moment (Colossians 1:13), corrupted by our sin and Satan’s rule (Luke 4:6; 1 John 5:19). The devolution of nature is mirrored in every human soul. “Free” from God’s Presence and Life, the human soul stumbles around in a moral twilight, gasping for a few breaths of happiness, and reducing deity to the miniature confines of the human imagination.
In Genesis 3:15, we find the first word of hope to the hopeless, the earliest expression of the good news, and a stunning prophecy of Satan’s final defeat delivered by a human descendant of Adam and Eve. The ancient serpent will strike this Man, but the Man will fatally crush the great Deceiver (1 John 3:8). Adam couldn’t do this, but Jesus did (1 Corinthians 15:22). He was no ordinary descendant of Adam.
On a recent road trip, my wife and I drove across vast stretches of West Texas flatlands… just incredibly, unbelievably flat. Coming over a small rise, we could see for miles to another ridge in the distance. The Genesis 3:15 passage is like a prophetic overlook, elevating the reader so he or she can gaze across the entire expanse of Old Testament history and directly into the stable in Bethlehem:
- beyond the Patriarchs and God’s promises that fueled hope throughout their lives…
- beyond the Exodus account of God’s cosmic victory over the demon-gods of Egypt (Exodus 12:12), setting His people free to follow Him…
- beyond the supernatural periods of communal well-being, homeland security, and personal wholeness (shalom) under King David and Solomon, when God’s rule was expressed through an anointed, adopted king, prefiguring the coming King…
- and beyond the great prophets who penned their visions and songs of the coming anointed One (Messiah/Christ) who would usher in the kingdom of God.
The message of revolution in the Garden is this: from the first moment you realize that your life is ruined and broken, God has a word of hope for you! The Savior has come to destroy the enemies of your soul. Rescuing the ones who will accept His invitation, Jesus transforms darkened hearts and depopulates Satan’s kingdom.