I love movies. Especially ones with action and suspense. In these movies, there’s usually a point when everything is going well, and I know it will not last long. I know the next scene will make me want to get out of my chair and shout at the screen. There will be a trap that I see, but somehow, the characters don’t see. I will want to yell “turn around!” even though the screen cannot hear me or respond.
That’s how I feel when I read Genesis 3. God just finished designing a remarkable planet. Sunsets. Mountains. Oceans. Giraffes. Trees. Adam. Eve. Everything is very good… Until…
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” – Genesis 3:1
I start to move to the edge of my seat as I watch the scene unfold. Don’t listen to the serpent, Eve! Just walk away. Walk away now… Adam, why are you standing by and watching this happen? Don’t fall for it!
But just like in a movie, shouts don’t work. The action has already been filmed.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. – Genesis 3:6-7
Adam and Eve stopped trusting in the Word of their Creator. They walked away from Light of the world and found themselves in darkness. Yes, they did have new eyes for good and evil, because now they could see evil in themselves.
Oh how the scene has now changed from Genesis 2. Instead of beautiful perfection, we have two ashamed people, hiding behind leaves. The trap worked.
If this were a movie, I imagine the filmmaker’s next move would be to pan to the hero. The audience would need to know that there is still hope, that there is a rescuer on the way.
Our maker wants us to know the same thing.
So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:14-15
After humans fall into the trap, God wastes no time in bringing hope. Though there are consequences, He lets us know that there will also be redemption.
That’s what Advent is celebrating- that the Hero is coming. We get to live our lives from the perspective of an audience who knows how the movie ends. Many others lived their lives in waiting, wondering if the Hero would ever get there. Wondering if humanity would ever be freed from the trap we walked into so many years ago.
We celebrate Christmas because we know who the Hero is. We know that when Jesus was born, our Rescuer arrived. We know that when He died and rose again, he stepped on the head of that serpent. And that when He comes again to rule and reign, the final blow will be delivered.
At times, the repercussions of Genesis 3:1-7 make us feel like all is lost. Sin has reaped a lot of consequences- in our lives and in the world. Our heel hurts from the sting of the serpent. But we have hope.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Our Hero has come.