And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel. - Genesis 3:15
If I asked you the question, where in the Bible is Jesus talked about? What books of the Bible would first come to mind? Maybe you would think of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), that give an account of Jesus’ time on earth. Or maybe you would think of the many letters after the Gospels that give an account of the Apostles’ lives in response to Jesus. It’s very like likely, though, that the Old Testament (the books of the Bible that give an account of the many years before Jesus came to earth) would never come to mind!
Believe it or not, the above verse from Genesis is one of the first mentions of Jesus in all of the Bible. Read through that verse one more time and see if you can spot Him.
He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.
To give some context, this verse is in the third chapter of Genesis, which is also the chapter that contains the account of the fall of man (the first sin of humanity). In short, Adam and Eve are in perfect relationship with the Lord. They are living in the garden of Eden with Him and there is no sin that has yet entered the world. But then comes the serpent (Satan), who tempts Adam and Eve to do the one thing that God has told them not to do. The one thing that God has told them will only bring death into their lives. You probably know the rest. Adam and Eve do that one thing, and sin enters the world, thus beginning the cycle of death and destruction that we still see around us today.
One part that often goes unnoticed, though, is this verse of hope that the Father offers. He tells the serpent, “I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.” To pick this apart a bit, God is speaking to the serpent here, telling him that the offspring of Eve will come to battle him sometime in the future. And He tells the serpent, “He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel” (emphasis added). This is a picture of what, thousands of years later, came to pass in Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. Jesus defeated the grave, thus crushing the head of Satan. But, in the suffering of Christ and in His brutal crucifixion, Satan “bit” His heel. He caused Him momentary pain, but we see the end result: Jesus wins.
God wasted no time in telling His children that not all was lost, that He Himself would make a way back to perfect relationship with Him. The Bible, right out the gate, points to Jesus - the hope of the world - the moment that sin is introduced. The rest of the Old Testament, through the many prophets - or messengers - that the Lord set apart, pointed people to the coming Messiah. They spoke words like,
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. - Isaiah 7:14
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. - 2 Samuel 7:12-13
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. - Zechariah 9:9
And this brings a whole new dimension to the New Testament! All of the Gospels, every single word Jesus spoke, every miracle He performed, His life, His death, His resurrection, was all a fulfillment of what God had already promised through the many Messianic prophecies - God’s messages about the coming Savior from those prophets He set apart - of the Old Testament.
In this season leading up to Easter, don’t forget about the Old Testament! Don’t forget about the many promises God made to His people that they saw come to pass through Christ. It is a beautiful and faith-inspiring thing to think back on the thousands of years the people of Israel had looking forward to their Messiah, and to imagine their joy and overwhelming gratitude when, finally, they met their promised Savior.
1. When you think of Jesus, do you first think of the New Testament? Why is that?
2. Spend some time searching for “Messianic prophecies” online! There are so many Old Testament verses pointing to Jesus, and many times those links will also put the corresponding verse of fulfillment with it! Example: “Jesus would be born of a virgin - OT prophecy: Isaiah 7:14 // NT fulfillment: Matthew 1:22-23 & Luke 2:4-6.
Father, thank You for answered promises. Thank you for Jesus. Father, You wasted no time in giving us the hope we so desperately needed, and we have grace available to us through Christ at all times. Thank you that You are faithful to Your word! Father, as I enter into this season leading up to Easter, I pray You would fix my eyes on Jesus. Help me to learn more about His life, help me as I seek to love Him more fully and more deeply than I ever have before. I know You will be faithful to answer this prayer, if I pray it with all my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.