Yesterday we talked about how before the foundation of the world, God made a promise, an Emmanuel promise, to rescue His children from the ugly sin that entrapped us. He’s loved us for so long!
Today, let’s look at when we first heard about this promise. It was early in the book of Genesis.
Remember the story? Adam and Eve lived in joyful wonder with God in an amazing garden. God was with them. (Hmm…Emmanuel—God with us.) They had a close father-child relationship as Adam tended the garden and Eve helped.
But evil entered their world through the serpent, and our first parents failed to conquer temptation. They ate from the tree that God told them not to eat.
And the lovely, intimate fellowship was broken. In fact, they were banished to the east of Eden, outside the circle of “God with us.”
How would they ever get back to that peace with God? How would God ever be with them again? Someone would have to do what Adam failed to do—not give in to temptation. Conquer sin.
But angels with flaming swords blocked the way back. Adam and Eve could never pass through. Who could endure such swords? Someone would have to die to get through that wall of fire and blades.
It seems impossible, doesn’t it?
But God didn’t leave Adam and Eve hopeless. He gave them a promise. Look at this!
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall crush your head,
and you shall crush his heel. Gen. 3:15 ESV
Do you see the whisper of a Savior? Some day the woman’s offspring will produce a savior. One who will crush the serpent, but in the process he will also be crushed.
The rest of the Old Testament anticipates this coming savior. Oh how they longed for him to come. In every story, every passage, you can feel the longing. When, Lord, when will the promised Messiah come?
And with each story, the picture becomes clearer, like the dawn shining it’s light into a glorious landscape. Moment by moment, more details comes to light. Scripture by Scripture, we see the Messiah’s face more clearly, until…
Well, that’s what advent is all about!
And, that’s what this series is about. As we take our quick journey through the Old Testament, we’ll feel that anticipation, understand our desperate need for a savior, and when he finally comes, we’ll fall in love with him even more.
In years past, the fact that sin separated me from God was a challenge. I strove to conquer it, to be as perfect as I could to make him happy. I refrained from anything and everything I thought would make God frown at me. I feared his frown—and I thought my sin caused it.
What a prideful and miserable life I lived back then—trying to be my own savior.
But, dear friends, God never frowns at his children. We can’t possibly conquer sin on our own—we need a savior. That savior is Jesus and when the Father looks at us, he sees his son…and smiles.
Are you still trying to please God by your own striving—maybe subtly, in little ways? Run to Jesus. Let his grace fill you with joy. Rest in him. Your savior is here.
Have a blessed day and remember He loves you like there’s no tomorrow,
Shine Your Light: Have you ever tried to be your own savior? Would you be willing to share your experience? I’d love to hear, and I bet it would encourage others. Please share.