Today, Pastor Gettys and I begin a sermon series that we've been working on for quite some time on the life of Jesus. As we planned this series, it was soon seen that the magnitude of the subject matter was overwhelming. Some of the events in Jesus' life could be mad into a series of sermons. Just to preach one sermon per event of Jesus life would take close to four years! So we decided to merely touch on some of these events by beginning at Christmas time with His birth and ending in the Spring, at the time of His death, resurrection and ascension. But, we wondered, where do we start? It didn't take long to decide that the beginning is a good place. So, today we start at the beginning. Today we will look at the first prophecy of His first coming.
It is always good to begin at the beginning. What book of the Bible begins with the words In the beginning? That s right, the book of John. Let s look at John 1. Yes, you thought it is the book of Genesis. Well, so does John. The book of John begins with "In the beginning..."
John 1:1-5, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God He was with God in the beginning.
Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Now skip down to verses 10-14. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed His name, He gave the right to become children of God-- Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and mad His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. What an amazing passage! Where did all this begin? Well, now we can turn to the other book that starts with "In the beginning..." Genesis 1.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
This God of creation is the same Word of Creation spoken of in John. This is the same God that became flesh and dwelt with us. So this text could say In the beginning, Jesus created the heavens and the earth. So why did this almighty and powerful God become weak and powerless flesh? The answer is in Genesis 3. Here we have the story of the first human sin. The story of how Satan, using the guise of a serpent, tempted Eve, and she fell , then Adam fell and they blamed each other and they blamed the serpent. How does this story come to an end? God has to sort it out. In Genesis 3:14 and 15 we have the conclusion of this story and the beginning of the salvation saga. Here we find the first prophecy.
Genesis 3:14,15. So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity..I looked that up in the dictionary. Enmity: severe hatred. I will put severe hatred between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel."
I like how Dr. Jack Blanco puts it in his Clear Word paraphrase that he has done. Genesis 3:14,15 Then God said to the serpent, because you were used as a tool of Satan, I cannot continue to let you be the most beautiful creature in the garden. You will now be lower than any of the animals and will crawl on the ground eating its dust. Also, I will place a hatred of sin in the heart of the woman and her descendants, and this hatred of sin will find its ultimate expression in One of her offspring. Satan, like a striking serpent, will try to kill Him, but as a man crushes the head of a poisonous snake with his bare heel to save his children knowing he will die, so the Savior will sacrifice His own life to save those who love Him, and He will utterly crush the serpent s head." It's amazing grace.
God s grace devised a means, way back in the beginning, whereby His banished children need not be expelled from Him but only from the garden. Adam and Eve were saved from the eternal consequences of their sin. Adam trusted in the promise of a coming Savior, the Seed of the woman. He was clothed in skins at the expense of an innocent victim a clear fore-view of Calvary. He confessed his faith by calling his wife s name Eve , which means Mother of all living , in the face of the death sentence recently pronounced.
How was this first Messianic prophecy to be fulfilled? Turn to Matthew 1:21-23. She will give birth to a son, You know, Eve was the mother of sin. Mary was the mother of grace. This is awesome. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet ( Isaiah): "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel" -- which means, "God with us." Doesn't that remind you of John? "The Word that dwelt among us and became flesh."
Yes, thousands of years after this first prophecy, the Word did indeed become Flesh! Look at Matthew 26 to see what Jesus had to say about this. Here we find Jesus and His friends in the upper room for the Passover, the Last Supper.
Matthew 26:26-28. While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness if sins." For the forgiveness of their sins? For the forgiveness of Eve's sin of Adam's sin. The prophecy is about to be fulfilled.
Here we find Jesus, once again, explaining to those closest to Him the remedy for sin. Only this time, instead of the prophecy spanning several thousand years, it only lacks hours to its fulfillment.
What about the rest of the prophecy, the part about the crushing of the serpents head? Satan received his mortal blow by the death and resurrection of Jesus. But if you wish to read about his eternal and final demise, you can go to the end of Scripture in the book of Revelation, chapter 20 that tells you what happens to that serpent, Satan.
It is our prayer that, as we participate together in this series on the life of Jesus, we will all come to love Him much more and have a deep personal relationship with Him. As we partake in our communion service today, let s open our hearts to that humble, loving Savior who died for our sins so that we might live eternally with Him!
Hymn of Praise: #132, O Come All Ye Faithful Scripture: Matthew 1:21-23 Hymn of Response: #131, Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
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last updated 12/17/2000 by Bob Beckett.