Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Promise of His Coming (1)

The title of my intended Advent series comes from those words of the scoffers in 2 Peter 3:4. The context is that, as we wait for the return of the Lord Jesus, scoffers arise mocking the promise, as they point to the fact that 'ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.' That verse led me to think about the fact that from the beginning of creation, the first coming of the Lord Jesus has been promised and predicted. It is this theme of promise that I want to try to reflect on this Advent season.

Just as the traditional Christmas Nine Lessons and Carols service, we begin at the beginning, with the first promise, that of Genesis 3:15. God has made everything in all of creation, and it is very good. Perfection. Yet Adam and Eve, our first parents, disobey the one command that God has given them, and everything is breaking down.

God's creation is ruined, and yet, at the very moment that judgment and condemnation would be entirely appropriate, God's grace shines through, providing the first hint of our rescuer, who would overthrow our enemies of sin, the devil and death, and bring the restoration of the creation. As God judges the serpent for his part in the downfall, God points to the coming serpent crusher.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.' (Genesis 3:15)

The fatal blow would be delivered to the serpent - his head would be bruised; at the same time as the serpent bruises the serpent crusher's heel. One who would take the pain inflicted by our great enemy, at the same time as defeating that enemy.

And so, the hunt is on. God has promised a serpent crusher. We wait in anticipation.

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