Today's Bible Reading
     Genesis 3
     Matthew 3
     Ezra 3
     Acts 3
''And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." (Genesis 3:15)
            It is the first Christmas sermon: Genesis 3 is one of the most important chapters in the Bible. Without this chapter, much of the rest of the Bible would not make sense.  The shallow reader may not see it, but here is the background for many great doctrines and scripture. Lengthy meditation and mighty illumination are required to see all that is going on in this chapter.
            It is obvious when God speaks of the woman's seed that this is the first prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
           Someone called this passage ''the Bible in embryo''. We could call it ''Christmas from God's perspective' '. Indeed, when seen through God's eyes, Christmas takes on proportions that are ''off the map'' of human thinking, and this passage is a clear example.      This is, indeed, The Gospel in the Garden.
            The one key to all Messianic prophecy is found hanging at the front door of the Bible. Ironically, this key was given by God to that ''old serpent, the devil''. He was the first to learn of a Deliverer who would come to destroy his devilish works. The first Gospel message was delivered to the devil. The first Christmas sermon was preached to Satan. Adam and Eve were only ''eaves droppers." Who delivered the message? Who preached the sermon? Who uttered the prophecy? It was God Himself. Truly, He will help us to understand it.
            Do you know that nobody could be saved without this sentence? ''I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed." When man sinned, he entered into such implicit union with Satan that his case is hopeless unless God intervenes, and God's intervention must break this union between man and Satan and place enmity against Satan back into man's heart.
            This was accomplished through Bethlehem's barn and Calvary's Cross.  Man's sin is a radical problem and hell is a radical penalty. The coming and dying of the virgin born Son of God is the radical provision for your sin. Sin is so big, so serious, and so deadly, that it not only shattered the universe; it reached to the very heart of God and shafted it. This is the terrible meaning of the cross. The cross was planted, first of all, in the heart of God and this is the conflict that made it necessary. This is an incredible thought that God delivered this message to Satan in the garden.
            When Jesus was born many centuries later in Bethlehem, Justice and Mercy turned toward the manger, looked down with satisfaction upon the Child and looked up at each other - and smiled! However, they still could not come back together because no settlement had yet been made of the divisive issue called sin. Then, in a dramatic settlement on a Cross outside old Jerusalem Justice and Mercy saw the Son of God die. Justice was fully exhausted in fulfilling its claims against sin, and Mercy was free to be fully extended to sinners, and thus it was done just as God told Satan in the Garden. Wow!
As blood bought sinners made into saints by the cross, we must pray for a lost world. We can tip the scales of history. Christians can be the controlling factor in the unfolding drama of today's world. Let us not allow ourselves to be chased around by the enemy but let us go up at once and take the kingdoms of this world for Jesus. He is delighted to give them to us. (Daniel 7:18, 22; Luke 12:32)
''In a thousand ways, I cause the weary world to look up into the face of God and, for the moment, forget the things that are small and wretched."
E. C. Baird