The Doctrine of Revelation: The Story of Scripture (Part 3)

Proto-Euangelion! The good news of God’s plan of salvation is littered throughout the Bible. The message of salvation is not simply a theme of the New Testament; in fact it has its very roots in the first book of the Old Testament: Genesis. In Genesis 3 we read of the tragic Fall of Adam and Eve into sin, which separated them from God’s holy presence. But in this awful story which plunged the whole world into ruin we also have the one message of life, hope, and salvation.

The story is, of course, common to most of us who grew up in the church. God created everything and said it was good. He placed His vice-regents (man and woman) in the Garden of Eden and instructed them to rule over it and care for it. They were given freedom and joy, with only one restriction: Do not eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Yet, when tempted, that is precisely what they do. As a result they are punished and exiled from the Garden and from God’s perfect presence. But it is in the direct announcement of their judgment that God issues this gospel hope.

In Genesis 3:14-15 God turns specifically to rebuke the deceiver, the serpent (Satan) who had tempted and lured Adam and Eve into open rebellion against their creator. God says to the serpent there:

14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 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 3:14-15)

God warns the serpent that a day is coming when the “offspring of the woman” (literally her seed), will crush the serpent’s head, even though the creature has the opportunity to bruise his heel. It’s an interesting account for many reasons, but ultimately it points us to the one true serpent-crusher: Jesus Christ.

In His death Jesus did indeed have His heel bruised by that venomous foe. But in His resurrection the King once and for all crushed that snake’s head. He broke his teeth with a swift blow and a triumphant victory! This early gospel message found in Genesis points us down through the corridors of redemptive history to the victory of Jesus at the resurrection. Revelation 12:9 describes his defeat:

9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:9)

Satan does not have victory, and even back in Genesis the story was being foreshadowed. Jesus, the serpent-crushing King, has won the victory and conquered the enemy!

We will see the imagery of the serpent come up again through the storyline of Scripture but in each case we will see how it again points to the snake-killer! Jesus is the victor always!

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