“ B. C. Seed of a Woman ”
Genesis 3 : 14, 15
- This is the first promise given after the Adam and Eve.
- It is also the first gospel sermon ever preached on the face of the earth.
- The Christ child is in this verse. He is the “Top Seed of a Woman.”
- Who would one day come to crush the serpent’s (Satan) ugly head. In the process his “heel” would be bruised on the cross.
- In the next 4 weeks I would like to take you on a journey by looking at 4 major Old Testament pictures and predictions of His coming:
- Seed of the Woman (Genesis 3:15)
- Lamb of God (Exodus 12:3)
- A Prophet Like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:1-10)
- Born of a Virgin (Isaiah 7:14)
- I have chosen these four because they will help us understand who Jesus Christ is and why His coming is so important.
I. Understanding the Context
A) Time and Place
- The Garden of Eden
- Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the snake
- Suddenly paradise is not so beautiful.
- Eden has been ruined by the entrance of sin. Dark shadows fall on the ground as Adam and Eve think about what they have done. They remember God telling them that they would die.
- While God’s new creation is sad, worried and frightened, Satan is happy.
- Satan wants everyone in Heaven to know that His plan was ruined.
B. Persons Involved
- .. As God immediately begins to pass sentence, He begins where the sin began–with the serpent.
- Later he will come to the woman and then to the man.
- Note in verse 14… ¶ And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
- God passes judgment on the serpent(satan) for his part in the fall of humanity.
- First, he is cursed above every other animal.
- Second, the serpent will crawl on his belly forever.
- Third, he will eat dust all the days of his life.
C. The Bad News
- The bad news for the serpent is that there is no good news for him. God doesn’t ask him what he did or why he did it because the Lord had already judged Satan when he threw him out of heaven.
- The bad news for us is that we are punished the rest of our life for something that the serpent caused.
II. What This Verse (15) Tells Us
A) Endless Conflict
- “ … And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
- The key word is enmity, which means…hostility, animosity, or I will set a feud, There will be war.”
- In the Hebrew, the word is “seed,” meaning to the generations yet unborn that would trace their heritage back to Eve. That “seed” or offspring refers to the men and women of faith in every generation who have believed in God. This is the godly line that leads to Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Ruth, David, Daniel, Esther and eventually culminates in the person of Jesus Christ.
- Satan Has His Seed. That line starts with Cain who killed Abel.
- Then we come to the days of Jesus.
- When he was born, Herod tried to kill him.
- When he grew up, the Pharisees opposed him and plotted to take his life.
- Satan filled the heart of Judas, when Jesus was arrested.
- Who was behind the crucifixion of Jesus? It was the ungodly line of Satan. This is the real “War of the Ages”–the struggle between those who believe in God and those who don’t.
- The “seed of the woman” and the “seed of the serpent” have opposed each other continuously across the centuries. The struggle continues to this day.
- We are not here on earth to win a popularity contest!
- Remember the words of Jesus in John 15:18…¶ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
B) Temporary Defeat
- Look at the battle here.. “it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
- Head trauma is worse than heel trauma.
- If you’ve ever had a heel spur, or pulled your Achilles’ tendon, you know how painful this can be.
- But what happens? You end up on crutches, taking painkillers and perhaps having surgery. Heel trouble slows you down. But it doesn’t kill you.
- The heel of Christ was bruised at the cross. It temporarily slowed him down, but it wasn’t long and then Christ regained full power.
C) Eventual Victory
- Do you know that you have a choice whether you win the battle or not?
- In many things here on earth, we do not have the control over whether or not we get the victory.
- As a Christian we have that hope that eventually we will get the victory. And our hope is through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- I Corinthians 15:57… But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- But in the end Satan will be destroyed and all those who follow him will be destroyed.
- Revelation 20:10… And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
- Brothers and sisters today if you are failing and are tired of being defeated..look to Jesus Christ the creator of Victory!
III. How This Verse Applies to Us
A) The Christian life will always be a struggle.
- Whether you are saved or unsaved…life is a struggle.
- Sometimes you win and sometimes you
- Let us name some struggles we have as humans (Saved and unsaved)…
- Struggle for a job
- Struggle for the things we want
- Struggle for life
- Now look at some struggles we face as Christians
- Spiritual greatness
- flesh against spirit
- good verses evil
- Will will struggle against temptation until we sleep in the Lord.
B) Our victories will not come without wounds.
- If Jesus suffered in doing the will of God, so will we.
- Just because we are saved dos not mean that we will be free from struggles.
- Jesus Christ has scars on His hands and feet, proof of His victory.
- What scars do we carry around as proof of our victory ? Or does the scars of sin continue to get bigger for you?
C) Rise the Woman’s Conquering Seed
- It may interest you to know that when John Wesley wrote the familiar carol “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” he included a verse based on Genesis 3:15. Modern hymnals often omit this verse, which is unfortunate since it contains excellent theology.
- Come, Desire of Nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home.
Rise the woman’s conquering Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Adam’s likeness now efface, Stamp Thine image in its place,
Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy love,
Hark, the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.
“ B.C. The Lamb to be Born (Part II)”
- The Bible makes the connection between Jesus and lambs in several passages.
- Isaiah 53:7 compares the Messiah to a lamb going to be slaughtered. John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29).
- Paul called Christ the “Passover Lamb” in I Corinthians 5:7.
- Peter spoke of Christ’s blood as the blood of a lamb in I Peter 1:18-19.
- Finally, the book of Revelation explicitly calls Christ “the Lamb” 30 times.
- The word “lamb” is a positive word. Words such as gentle, helpless, friendly and innocent come to mind.
- Compare that with the image of the snake used as a symbol for the devil. The word “Snake” is negative. Children instinctively love lambs while most people fear snakes. Snakes are sneaky, deadly, and hard to hold on to, with one thought on it’s mind…destroy and devour.
I. Showdown in Egypt
A) The Passover
- The Jews are being held as slaves by the Egyptians.
- 400 years the Jews have lived in harsh, difficult conditions. For generations their labor was being abused by the Egyptians.
- Finally God raises up a leader named Moses.
- He goes before the Pharaoh with a message from God: “Let my people go!” Pharaoh doesn’t take this seriously, so Moses comes back several times with the same message from God. But Pharaoh has no intention of letting these slaves God go free.
- God thinks of a plan that will cause Pharaoh to beg the Jews to leave his land.
- He sends a series of terrible judgments (called Plagues) on Egypt. Each one represents a terrible natural disaster and each one shows God’s complete power over nature and at the same time, reveals the impotence of the false gods of Egypt.
- Here are the first nine plagues listed in order:
- Water into blood Frogs
- Disease upon the livestock
- Death of the first born
- But God would spare the Israelites in order to make a distinction between God’s people and Pharaoh’s (the worldly)
- Exodus 12 reveals God’s plan to spare the Israelites from the midnight massacre of the firstborn. He would spare his people using the blood of a lamb. When the blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the door post of each Jewish home, God would see the blood and would literally “pass over” that house. But if God didn’t see the blood, he would take the life of the firstborn in judgment.
- It was the blood of the lamb that saved the people of God that night.
- Every year since then, for 3500 years, and continuing to this very year, the Jews have observed a Passover celebration as a solemn reminder of God’s amazing deliverance in Egypt.
II. The Passover Lamb
- Charles Simeon comments that even the smallest details of the Passover seem designed to point to Jesus Christ. We will point out ten of the most notable similarities between the events of the first Passover 3500 years ago and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross as the ultimate Passover Lamb.
A) It must be a lamb
- Exodus 12:3 says that each man is to “take a lamb” for his own household. It couldn’t be a bull or a dove, which were sometimes used in other Old Testament sacrifices. God was very particular–it was to be a lamb and only a lamb. Nothing else would do.
- Why a lamb?
- When John saw Jesus, he cried out, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29).
- Paul says in… I Cor. 5:7… ¶ Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
- Revelation refers to Christ as the Lamb in 30 separate instances.
B) It must be a male
- Exodus 12:5 specifies that “the animals you choose must be year-old males.”
- Jesus fulfilled this in that he was the son (a male) born of the virgin Mary.
C) It must be a year-old lamb
- This means that the lamb must be in its prime, neither too young nor too old.
- Even so, “Christ offered up himself in the midst of his days, not in infancy with the babes in Bethlehem.”
D) It must be without blemish
- The Hebrew text uses a phrase that means “without defect.”
- This means that the Jewish men would have to carefully inspect their lambs to make sure there were no open sores, no patches of bare skin, no infections, no diseases, no blotches or blemishes, no sickness of any kind.
- This prevented a man from offering a lame or inferior creature while keeping the best for himself.
- I Peter 1:19 picks up on this theme when it speaks of Jesus Christ as being “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
- Hebrews 4:14-16 emphasizes that though Christ was tempted in all points as all men are, he was without sin.
- When Pontius Pilate finished examining him, he declared, “I find no fault in him” (John 19:6 KJV). Even the hostile high priests could find no just cause to put him to death so they trumped up false charges against him.
E) It must be slain and roasted
- Exodus 12 is quite clear on this point. All the lambs were to be slain at the same time and the blood drained form them. Then the carcasses were to be roasted and eaten whole. They were not to be boiled or eaten raw (both pagan customs). Anything left over was to be burned. Thus, the lamb was to be completely consumed.
- Both the slaying and roasting picture the sufferings of Christ on the cross.
- Not only did he die, but his death itself was a complete sacrifice.
- He died the death of criminal hanging on a hated Roman cross. It was not the noble of Socrates drinking poison but the humiliating death of a man rejected by the world he came to save.
F) It must have no broken bones
- Exodus 12:46 specifies that when animals were chosen for the yearly Passover sacrifice, none of the bones were to be broken. It was the custom of the Romans to break the legs of those being crucified in order to hasten (hurry up) their death.
- John 19:32-36 tells us that the Roman soldiers did not break Jesus’ legs because he was already dead.
- Verse 36 points out that this happened to fulfill the scripture that says, “Not one of his bones will be broken.”
- Broken bones means… not perfect.
G) It must be offered “between the evenings”
- This unusual phrase is a literal translation of the Hebrew phrase found in Exodus 12:6.
- “between the evenings,” in Jewish is thought to mean between 3-5 P.M.
- The New Testament tells us that Jesus was crucified at the “third hour,” meaning 9:00 A.M.
- Since the Jews time in 24-hour periods beginning at 6:00 A.M. Matthew 26:45 tells us that there was darkness from the sixth hour until the ninth hour,(or from 12 noon to 3:00 P.M.)
- Shortly thereafter Jesus uttered his final words “It is finished” and died. His body was then taken down from the cross before sundown.
- Thus, Jesus died “between the evenings” (3-5 P.M.) at the exact hour the Passover lambs were being sacrificed throughout Israel.
H) It must be sacrificed by all the people
- Exodus 12 stresses that lambs must be offered by every man for every family in Israel.
- And all the lambs must be slaughtered at precisely the same time. Thus, the lambs represented the total participation of the nation in the blood sacrifice.
- Christ was crucified by the Romans on behalf of the Jews. Everyone participated in his death. His death was made as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. What many lambs did for many people, Jesus the Lamb of God did for all people.
I) The blood must be sprinkled
- Once the lamb had been slaughtered and the blood drained, the father must take a bunch of hyssop (a leafy bush), dip it in the blood, and then put some of the blood on the top and sides of the door frame.
- The blood would be sign that the family had sacrificed a lamb as the Lord had commanded. “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (Exodus 12: 13).
- This pictures not the death of Christ, but our application of his death to our hearts by faith.
- That’s why I Peter 1:2 speaks of the sprinkling of the blood of Christ. The lamb alone could not save an Israelite. Not even a dead lamb could save. Not even the blood in the basin could save. Only the blood sprinkled on the door post could spare the people from the terrible judgment of God.
- Think of it this way. Jesus Christ is our only hope of salvation.
- He is God’s Lamb offered for the sin of the world. However, Jesus’ blood saves but only when taken by faith. For those who reject the blood, even the Lamb of God cannot save them.
J) The meat must be fully consumed
- The family was to eat the meat together with bitter herbs and unleavened bread (a reminder of their days in Egypt).
- No leftovers! They were not allowed to keep the meat for later use. Any part not eaten must be burned. Thus the Israelites signified their complete participation in the death of the lamb. His life was taken, his blood shed, the blood applied, the meat roasted, and the meat consumed. Through these measures the Jews were reminded that their redemption came through the death of a substitute. The lamb died in their place. By eating its meat, they signified their complete identification with the lamb who died for them.
- Christ saves us when we “eat his flesh and drink his blood” by faith. Jesus used these very terms in John 6:53-58. He said this speaking not of literal flesh and literal blood but of what saving faith is all about. We are to take Christ completely, wholly, absolutely, and without qualification. When we take him as Savior in this manner, it is like eating and drinking at a feast.
- Soon after that Pharaoh sent word that the Israelites were free to leave.
- In fact he begged them to leave before anyone else died! That’s why God told the Jews to eat the Passover in haste. He knew they would be moving soon.
- Through the blood of Christ, (the great Lamb of God) we are safe from God’s wrath and set free from the penalty of sin. In him and through him and by him God has delivered his people once and for all.
III. Abiding Lessons For 20th Century Believers
- From this story we may glean four lessons that apply to us believers today.
A) Jesus Christ is God’s lamb
- He is the only person who meets all the qualifications.
- He fulfills every detail of the Old Testament picture. No other person in the Bible meets the requirements.
- Jesus was born to die! Although Mary could not then know all the details, from the earliest days she knew that suffering lay along the pathway of his life.
- That’s why many of our greatest artists, when painting Mary and the Christ child, have portrayed with a sense of sorrow and heaviness in her face. Often she looks into the distance as if she can see the form of a cross on the horizon.
- Since the lamb must die in order for the blood to save, Jesus must someday die and his blood must be shed.
B) There is no salvation without sacrifice
- Hebrews 9:22 reminds us that “ and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).”
- A living lamb may be cute and cuddly, but it saves no one.
- Unless the lamb dies, his blood does no good. In God’s economy, only shed blood can forgive sin. As the great Lamb of God, Jesus must go to the Cross in order to save the world.
C) Even Jesus cannot save you without faith.
- Suppose an Israelite had refused to sacrifice a lamb. His firstborn would have died that night. Being a Jew could not save on that fateful night. It’s not national origin that matters to God, but faith in God’s appointed way of salvation.
- The same is true for church members. You aren’t saved by coming to Silent Bible Baptist Church. That doesn’t matter at all!
- When God looks down from heaven, the only thing that matters is… that he sees the blood of the Lamb applied to the door posts of your heart.
D) If you refuse God’s lamb, there is no other plan of salvation.
- Pharaoh refused God and His son died.
- If you refuse God’s son, you will die too by going to hell.