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Saturday, December 3, 2016

12.3.16 // Expecting the Messiah: In The Beginning

Genesis 1 beautifully reminds us that, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” If you grew up hearing Bible stories, you can probably quote from memory bits and pieces of Genesis 1. After the Creation account in Genesis 1, we go on to read that God created man and woman, and He gave man dominion over his creation in Genesis 2. Then comes Genesis 3. The infamous fall. The craftiness of the serpent. The sin of Adam and Eve. The sound of the Lord in the garden as His treasured creatures hide in shame. The curse of man, woman, and serpent. The banishment from the garden. The consequences of sin. AND the promise of redemption through the seed of a woman! Even at the instant of the very first sin, God had a plan for redemption! Even in Genesis 3, humanity can have the hope that a Savior is coming. What an amazing God we serve!

I remember reading the story of the Fall as a child and thinking (rather pridefully), “If I was Eve, I would NOT have eaten the fruit!” It seemed so simple to me. God gave man and woman so much freedom and so many blessings, and He just gave them one command regarding the fruit of the forbidden tree. How could they do the ONE thing He forbade?? How could they have trusted the serpent when they knew the Lord intimately? How could they disobey Him when they had experienced all of His loving blessings? If I were in that situation thousands of years ago, surely I would have withstood the temptation to doubt and disobey God. Now, as an adult, I understand that I would have made the same choice that Eve made. Why? Because I can just as easily be tempted by the adversary’s convincing deception as he causes me to distrust the Lord’s goodness. In fact, I make those same choices on a daily basis…even while I know and have experienced the Lord’s goodness, too!

Genesis 3 is about Christmas because it shows so clearly our need for a Savior. We are fickle, frail, and unfaithful. We are easily swayed, tempted, and tricked. We are quick to turn to earthly pleasures even in the face of the beautiful life God offers to us if we will trust and follow Him. We are no different than Adam and Eve. And so Genesis 3 is about Christmas because the first sin, which caused the separation of God and man, necessitates that a Savior redeem us. And even thousands of years ago, God had a plan for redemption in place: the seed of a woman (Jesus!) will crush the serpent (Satan) forever! Jesus has the ultimate victory over sin, death, and the enemy!

As we enter into the Christmas season, let us ponder our need for a savior, as so clearly demonstrated in Genesis 3. Let us be humbled by the sobering fact that we have turned our backs on Christ time and time again, and knowing that we would be so unfaithful to Him, HE STILL CAME as a humble, tiny baby in a stable filled with itchy hay, loud animals, and stinky manure. He STILL CAME knowing that He would be tempted, tried, shamed, heartbroken, betrayed, rejected, mocked, misunderstood, beaten, bruised, crushed, and killed. And He STILL PURSUES us day in and day out, even though we so easily run to earthly pleasures during the Christmas season and all year long. Let us be reminded of His coming. Let us be humbled and convicted at His mercy. And let us turn away from sin and pursue a life of holiness. Let us worship the King of Kings this Christmas season as we are blown away by His amazing redemptive plan that was set in motion thousands of years before Jesus physically came to earth! Oh, how He loves us!

Merry Christmas!


Always, Jacquelyn

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